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Top Companion Anim Med. 2016 Mar;31(1):2-10. doi: 10.1053/j.tcam.2016.05.003. Epub 2016 May 24.

Quality Assurance and Quality Control in Point-of-Care Testing.

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Clinical Pathology Section, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, Ithaca, NY, USA.
Clinical Pathology Section, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, Ithaca, NY, USA. Electronic address:


With advancements in the standard of care in veterinary medicine and instrument technology, performing in-house laboratory work on a variety of point-of-care instruments, ranging from glucometers to benchtop chemistry analyzers, has become increasingly commonplace. However, the ability of an instrument to perform a test does not guarantee that those results are accurate. Ensuring that your in-clinic laboratory is providing reliable data requires a comprehensive plan that encompasses both common sense practices aimed at preventing errors at each stage of the testing process, as well as standard operating procedures to validate and monitor analyzer performance. These 2 arms of the plan are known as quality assurance and quality control. Although these concepts are typically out of the comfort zone for veterinarians, just as the thought of business management may deter some veterinarians from practice ownership, it is not beyond the capabilities of veterinarians to learn, understand, and incorporate them into their practice. The objectives of this article are to convey the importance of quality assurance and quality control, walk you through the American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology guidelines on this topic, and provide direction to additional resources for further education on this topic, all with the focus on point-of-care testing in the in-clinic laboratory.


POCT; diagnostic; error; in-clinic; laboratory; management

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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