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EJIFCC. 2015 Jan 27;26(1):7-14. eCollection 2015 Jan.

Diagnostic Errors and Laboratory Medicine - Causes and Strategies.

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Department of Laboratory Medicine, University-Hospital , Padova, Italy.


While the frequency of laboratory errors varies greatly, depending on the study design and steps of the total testing process (TTP) investigated, a series of papers published in the last two decades drew the attention of laboratory professionals to the pre- and post-analytical phases, which currently appear to be more vulnerable to errors than the analytical phase. In particular, a high frequency of errors and risk of errors that could harm patients has been described in both the pre-pre- and post-post-analytical steps of the cycle that usually are not under the laboratory control. In 2008, the release of a Technical Specification (ISO/TS 22367) by the International Organization for Standardization played a key role in collecting the evidence and changing the perspective on laboratory errors, emphasizing the need for a patient-centred approach to errors in laboratory testing.


brain-to-brain loop; diagnostic errors; laboratory medicine; laboratory-associated errors; patient safety; quality


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