The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Concept and Construction of a Laboratory Individualized Quality Control Plan. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Example -- Listing Steps in the Process

The preanalytical phase of our ammonia testing is shown below. Notice that the process is broken down into steps and space is provided next to each step, which will allow the personnel who are assessing the process to record deviations from the written procedural documents while they observe performance of the tasks. They may also want to add other comments related to potential risks that could occur at that step in the process or may want to note that potential risks at that step have already been addressed, perhaps by the manufacturer of the test system. You can add as much detail as you deem necessary. You can simply list the steps, create a table, as we have done here, create a flow diagram, or use another method that you prefer. Whatever your approach, try to include all the steps that are needed to accomplish the process from start to finish.

Process Step
Comments
Ammonia test is ordered by provider

Test's priority is determined
This is determined by the provider
EMR transmits the order to the phlebotomist

Phlebotomist prepares supplies for collection, including cup of ice

Phlebotomist identifies patient

Phlebotomist applies tourniquet to locate vein

Phlebotomist releases tourniquet before collecting sample

Phlebotomist collects and labels sample

Phlebotomist places labeled sample into reclosable bag and places bag on ice immediately

Phlebotomist transports sample to lab immediately

Lab assistant documents receipt in LIS

Lab assistant centrifuges sample, separating plasma from cells within 15 minutes of collection

Lab assistant delivers sample to chemistry for testing