Method evaluation in the clinical laboratory

Tze Ping Loh, Brian R. Cooke, Corey Markus, Rosita Zakaria, Mai Thi Chi Tran, Chung Shun Ho, Ronda F. Greaves, IFCC Working Group on Method Evaluation Protocols

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Method evaluation is one of the critical components of the quality system that ensures the ongoing quality of a clinical laboratory. As part of implementing new methods or reviewing best practices, the peer-reviewed published literature is often searched for guidance. From the outset, Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (CCLM) has a rich history of publishing methods relevant to clinical laboratory medicine. An insight into submissions, from editors' and reviewers' experiences, shows that authors still struggle with method evaluation, particularly the appropriate requirements for validation in clinical laboratory medicine. Here, we consider through a series of discussion points an overview of the status, challenges, and needs of method evaluation from the perspective of clinical laboratory medicine. We identify six key high-level aspects of clinical laboratory method evaluation that potentially lead to inconsistency. 1. Standardisation of terminology, 2. Selection of analytical performance specifications, 3. Experimental design of method evaluation, 4. Sample requirements of method evaluation, 5. Statistical assessment and interpretation of method evaluation data, and 6. Reporting of method evaluation data. Each of these areas requires considerable work to harmonise the practice of method evaluation in laboratory medicine, including more empirical studies to be incorporated into guidance documents that are relevant to clinical laboratories and are freely and widely available. To further close the loop, educational activities and fostering professional collaborations are essential to promote and improve the practice of method evaluation procedures.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine
Early online date4 Nov 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Nov 2022

Keywords

  • laboratory medicine
  • method evaluation
  • validation
  • verification

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