Traceability in Laboratory Medicine: Important for Patients
The results from laboratory medicine tests influence a high percentage of all clinical decisions. There are currently about 4000 different analytes (tests) in the global repertoire for laboratory medicine.
Doctors, other users of laboratory medicine services, and patients expect that the laboratory will provide high quality accurate results that will be the same irrespective of which method is used.
This is not always the case. Laboratory medicine methods are often complex in design measuring extremely low concentrations of clinically important biomarkers. These methods are produced by many diagnostics companies around the world. Between-method variability is common and may influence clinical interpretation and clinical outcome.
The Joint Committee for Traceability in Laboratory Medicine (JCTLM) is working with many global partners to reduce between-method variability. The production and adoption of reference materials, reference methods and the establishment of reference laboratories are drivers for accurate patient results.
This website provides resources to illustrate the importance of traceability in laboratory medicine.