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Am J Clin Pathol. 1996 Jan;105(1):58-64.

Quality perceptions of microbiology services. A survey of infectious diseases specialists.

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Graduate School of Public Health, San Diego State University, CA 92182-4162, USA.


Opinions about the quality of their primary microbiology laboratory were received from more than 500 practicing infectious diseases specialists by a nationally distributed questionnaire. Approximately 92% of the respondents' primary laboratories were hospital-based. These sophisticated users rated the quality of their microbiology laboratories to be generally high, with bacteriology receiving highest scores and parasitology the lowest scores. Fortunately, the serious problems, such as failing to call a critical result and culture mishandled in the laboratory, were experienced rarely. Laboratories directed by pathologists with specialty microbiology training, PHD microbiologists, and infectious diseases specialists were judged to be of highest quality. American Board of Medical Microbiology certification of the laboratory director was related to higher overall quality perceptions. Whereas physician-customer opinions may not directly measure a laboratory's analytic quality, they are an important performance measure on which laboratories can base quality improvement activities in both service and analytical aspects of performance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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