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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.

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Trend Analysis

It is helpful to periodically perform a trend analysis on aggregated non-conformity data to detect larger systematic errors in the laboratory. For example, management may want a breakdown of how many complaints of the same nature are occurring, or how frequently corrected reports are created, or which departments have repeated patterns of NCEs.
This information can provide a more powerful view of what is happening in the laboratory. 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.