The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Medical Error Prevention: Patient Safety. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Data Sources to Identify Errors

Identifying and assessing variations in the total testing process will provide opportunities to improve clinical laboratory services. Incident reports describe a variation in process and, from that report, opportunities for process modification to improve patient safety will be identified. Complaints from patients, clinicians, and other health care practitioners provide similar information to make improvements in clinical laboratory services.
Outliers identified in turnaround time studies provide valuable information with respect to breakdowns in processes. Instead of disregarding outliers as just an aberration, use those situations as opportunities to examine how they occurred and identify methods to reduce those types of errors in the future.