An IQCP looks at the total testing process, from the creation of the test order until the result is documented in the patient's record, to ensure that test results are reported accurately and positive patient outcomes will result. The methods that are covered in this course are just some of the methods that can be used in the development of an IQCP. Whatever tools you choose to use, be sure these three parts are documented in your plan:
- Risk assessment-- identify sources of potential failures/errors
- Quality control plan (QCP)-- practices and procedures that are in place to control test quality
- Quality assessment-- Continuous quality monitoring to evaluate the effectiveness of the QCP
The Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) has developed the guideline, EP23-A that provides further suggestions to help in the creation of a quality control plan based on risk management. This guideline may be another useful resource, if your laboratory is considering the development of an IQCP for any testing.