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Statistical Quality Control in Clinical Laboratories

Clinical Chemistry

  1. Jerry Dechert

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/9780470027318.a0543

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

How to Cite

Dechert, J. 2006. Statistical Quality Control in Clinical Laboratories. Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. Dechert and Moses, Inc., Riverton, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006


The importance of reporting quality patient results by clinical laboratories cannot be overstated. Maintaining and improving the quality of laboratory results is a never-ending process, and the thoughtful application of statistical quality control techniques is the key to this continuous pursuit. Using statistical methods, laboratories can ensure that their patient results are reliable and can continue to improve their performance.

It is clear that the method for monitoring quality control in the clinical laboratory will have a direct impact on the results reported by the laboratory. This article reviews the historical development of clinical quality control and details methods traditionally applied in the field. Recently proposed approaches are identified and their statistical performance is evaluated. Quality control methods involving clinical significance are also described, and economic modeling applicable to clinical quality control is presented.