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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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Creating a Quality Control Plan (QCP)

The next step in the process is to create a robust QCP. QC information from the manufacturer will indicate what the manufacturer has already put in place to address quality requirements. Some sources of error may be detected by the measuring device and be corrected automatically. Other sources of error may need to be addressed by the laboratory.
It is important to recognize that statistical QC is often necessary to help monitor risk in the analytical phase of the testing process. The QCP should include both statistical and non-statistical elements to cover all the potential risks of error.
After identifying and assessing potential failures, add all necessary actions to the QCP that will reduce the possibility of failure. For any risk that needs to be mitigated, you should have some type of action documented in the QCP.
A carefully chosen, strong action is more effective in reducing errors than a weaker action. Examples of strong actions include:
  • Automating processes, if possible
  • Standardizing procedures and equipment
  • Smoothing out workflow by eliminating batch testing
  • Interfacing instruments with the LIS
Examples of weaker actions include:
  • Telling employees to be more careful
  • Retraining, especially without periodic monitoring
  • Sending memos or e-mails to point out bad behavior