Errors in laboratory medicine: practical lessons to improve patient safety.
This study utilized the College of American Pathologists' (CAP) database to outline a series of performance measures targeted at improving patient safety. Investigators examined summarized data from ongoing studies of the CAP database and evaluated the error rates and prevention strategies implemented to develop recommendations. The author discusses eight performance measures, including customer satisfaction, test turnaround times, patient identification, and critical value reporting, while generating benchmarks and practical guidance for integrating the measures into every laboratory. Conclusions call for wide application of such performance improvement activities, both to establish best practices and to ensure standards for patient safety in the laboratory setting.