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An audit of the implementation of the international consensus group's guidelines on reporting of blood films
  1. M J Galloway1,
  2. A Charlton1,
  3. D Holland2,
  4. G Trigg2,
  5. R Gibson2
  1. 1Department of Clinical and Laboratory Haematology, Sunderland Royal Hospital, Sunderland, UK
  2. 2National Pathology Benchmarking Unit, Department of Medicines Management, Keele University, Keele, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr M J Galloway, City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, Sunderland Royal Hospital, E Floor Haematology Office, Kayll Road, Sunderland SR4 7TP, UK; mike.galloway{at}


Aims This study was carried out as part of the Pathology Benchmarking Review and it audits the implementation of the guidelines for the reporting of blood films published by the International Consensus Group for Haematology Review.

Methods Each laboratory completed a questionnaire about the number of blood counts and blood films performed. Information was collected on the criteria that were used for preparing a blood film and whether they had followed the guidelines of the International Consensus Group.

Results 74 National Health Service organisations (151 laboratory sites) participated in the study. 24 laboratories had implemented the guideline, 21 with local modification, and 3 without modification. The reasons that prevented the full implementation of the guideline included the inability of laboratory information systems to be modified to include the guideline rules, the laboratory not agreeing with the guideline criteria, and the staff time required to implement the guide to justify the perceived local benefits of implementation.

Conclusion This is the first study that has assessed the implementation of the International Consensus Guidelines at a national level. Many laboratories had experienced difficulty in implementing the consensus guideline partly due to the complexity of the guideline. As a result 21 of the 24 laboratories that had attempted to implement the guideline had made local modification to the guideline. Since it was not possible to estimate the impact that local modification of the guideline would have on the percentage of blood films it was not possible to establish a benchmark of practice following implementation of the guideline.

  • Audit
  • blood film
  • international consensus guidelines

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  • Competing interests All authors except AC are members of the haematology panel of the National Pathology Benchmarking Study.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.