Random and Systematic Error

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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Introduction to Quality Control. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Random and Systematic Error

There are two types of errors that one should look for when examining quality control charts.
Random errors are statistical fluctuations (in either direction) in the measured data due to the precision limitations of the measurement device.
Systematic errors, by contrast, are reproducible inaccuracies that are consistently in the same direction. Systematic error is more subtle and harder to detect.