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Diagnostic equipment outside the laboratory.
  1. J M Burrin,
  2. J A Fyffe
  1. Department of Medicine, Hammersmith Hospital, London.


    A questionnaire was circulated to clinical biochemistry laboratories in the North West Thames region of the United Kingdom requesting information on extralaboratory equipment. Data on the types and numbers of instruments in use, their relationship with the laboratory, and quality assurance procedures were obtained. Laboratories were prepared to maintain equipment over which they had no responsibility for purchase, training of users, or use. The quality assurance of these instruments gave even greater cause for concern. Although internal quality control procedures were performed on many of the instruments, laboratories were involved in only a minority of these procedures. Quality control procedures and training of users were undertaken on site in less than 50% of blood gas analysers and bilirubin meters and in less than 25% of glucose meters. External quality assessment procedures were non-existent for all of the instruments in use with the exception of glucose stick meters in two laboratories.

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