Quality control in laboratory testing has traditionally focused on the analytical phase of the total testing process. However, a periodic testing of control materials may not be sufficient to ensure process control for all test systems and in all testing environments. An individualized quality control plan (IQCP) is a QC plan that is tailored to a laboratory's unique environment (eg, testing personnel, samples, reagents, and testing systems). An IQCP is a quality management tool intended to identify and minimize the risks that could lead to the reporting of erroneous laboratory test results.
IQCP requires continuous monitoring of quality. A laboratory that develops an IQCP looks at the total testing process, from the creation of the test order (preanalytic/pre-examination) to the reporting of the result in the patient’s record (postanalytic/postexamination), to identify where errors potentially could occur and how those errors could impact patient care.