WHAT DOES RCPA QAP DO ABOUT POORLY PERFORMING LABORATORIES? CAN RCPA QAP RESULTS IDENTIFY THESE LABORATORIES AND DOES THE RCPA QAP HAVE A ROLE?
There is considerable interest in early identification of poorly performing laboratories, particularly outside the normal accreditation cycle. The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia Quality Assurance Program (RCPA QAP) data contain a huge amount of data on laboratory performance and peer comparison. The Phillips Fox Report suggested that this quality assurance (QA) data may be a useful tool for this purpose. The Key Performance Indicator study in Chemical Pathology and Cytopathology, funded by the Department of Health and Ageing, examined this possibility and the results of this study will be reviewed.
RCPA QAP is considering whether the programs should play a more pro‐active role in helping laboratories with poor QA performance. This would involve strategies such as contacting individual laboratories and offering guidance. Does the RCPA QAP have a role beyond this, such as identification of poor performance and referral of a poorly performing laboratory to a Discipline Advisory committee and then to the accreditation body, and at what stage after identification of poor performance, is currently being discussed by the RCPA QAP. Overseas experience and outcomes from various approaches will be presented.© 2010 Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia