AIM--To set up a programme of internal laboratory audit in a medical microbiology laboratory. METHODS--A model of laboratory based process audit is described. Laboratory activities were examined in turn by specimen type. Standards were set using laboratory standard operating procedures; practice was observed using a purpose designed questionnaire and the data were analysed by computer; performance was assessed at laboratory audit meetings; and the audit circle was closed by re-auditing topics after an interval. RESULTS--Improvements in performance scores (objective measures) and in staff morale (subjective impression) were observed. CONCLUSIONS--This model of process audit could be applied, with amendments to take local practice into account, in any microbiology laboratory.
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