Trend Analysis

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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course The Basics of Non-Conforming Event Management for Clinical Laboratory Services. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

Learn more about The Basics of Non-Conforming Event Management for Clinical Laboratory Services (online CE course)
Trend Analysis

A trend analysis should be performed periodically on aggregated non-conformity data to detect larger systematic errors. For example, management may want a breakdown of how many complaints of a specific nature have occured, how frequently corrected reports are encountered, or which departments have repeated patterns of NCEs.
This information can provide a more powerful view of laboratory patterns. Reporting systems should allow for event classification to help derive such data. Suggested categories may be the severity of the event, the path of workflow in which the event occurred (pre-analytical, analytical, or post-analytical), the origin of the event, and so on.
Tabulated data are not easily interpreted, so trends can be presented using graphs.