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ARTICLE |

The Impact of the Quality of Laboratory Staff on the Accuracy of Laboratory Results

Mary E. Lunz, PhD; Barbara M. Castleberry, PhD; Karen James, PhD; John Stahl, MA
JAMA. 1987;258(3):361-363. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03400030077036.
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This study tests the premise that laboratories employing medical technologists certified by the Board of Registry of the American Society of Clinical Pathologists (MT[ASCP]) produce more accurate laboratory test results, as measured by the College of American Pathologists proficiency tests. Licensed laboratories in Illinois provided the sample. An accuracy score on the College of American Pathologists proficiency tests was calculated for each laboratory. The accuracy score of a subgroup of laboratories employing all (100%) certified medical technologists was compared with the accuracy score of a subgroup of laboratories employing only noncertified medical technologists. Those laboratories employing only certified medical technologists had a mean accuracy score of 95% (SD = 4%), while laboratories employing only noncertified medical technologists had a mean accuracy score of 75% (SD = 30%). The Mann-Whitney U test was used to identify differences between the two groups of laboratories. A difference in the accuracy scores between the two groups of laboratories was statistically discernible. Since most laboratories employ some certified medical technologists, a second analysis considered the relationship of the proportion of certified medical technologists employed in the laboratory and accuracy on College of American Pathologists proficiency tests. A significant positive Spearman rs correlation confirmed a relationship between employing a higher proportion of certified medical technologists and accuracy of test results.

(JAMA 1987;258:361-363)

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