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Quality Assurance

Stages of QA in the Lab

Preanalytic Stage 1. The provider orders a test to screen, monitor, or diagnose a patient's condition.
Preanalytic Stage 2. A written or an electronic requisition is filled out, showing the test requested, the specimen required, and where the specimen will be tested.
Preanalytic Stage 3. The specimen is collected, labeled, and processed (e.g., centrifuged or refrigerated).
Preanalytic Stage 4. The specimen is transported to the appropriate laboratory (in the office or pickup for an off-site laboratory).
Analytic Stage 1. Instruments are maintained and calibrated.
Analytic Stage 2. Controls are run and analyzed for each test method (QC).
Analytic Stage 3. The specimen is tested, and the results are compared to reference ranges.
Analytic Stage 4. The test results are logged and documented in the patient's health record.
Postanalytic Stage 1. Specimens are properly discarded.
Postanalytic Stage 2. Analyses of control results are compared over time.
Postanalytic Stage 3. Patient reports from outside labs are logged.
Postanalytic Stage 4. The provider interprets and signs all lab reports.
Postanalytic Stage 5. The patient is notified of the results in the office or is contacted by laboratory personnel.
Postanalytic Stage 6. The final report and all communication with the patient is documented in the patient's health record.
Created by: cskinner