当前位置: 首页 >科室介绍>胎儿医学研究所 >>专科特色 >> 浏览文章

How Reliable is Laboratory Testing?

时间: 2016-11-23 08:11 信息来源: LIU 点击次数:

What are the indicators of test reliability?

澳门新葡京线上注册 www.lantianting.com Four indicators are most commonly used to determine the reliability of a clinical laboratory test. Two of these, accuracy precision, reflect how well the test method performs day to day in a laboratory. The other two, sensitivity specificity, deal with how well the test is able to distinguish disease from absence of disease.

The accuracy precision of each test method are established are frequently monitored by the professional laboratory personnel. Sensitivity specificity data are determined by research studies are generally found in medical literature. Although each test has its own performance measures appropriate uses, laboratory tests are designed to be as precise, accurate, specific, sensitive as possible. These basic concepts are the cornerstones of reliability of your test results provide the confidence your healthcare provider has in using the clinical laboratory.

Accuracy Precision

Statistical measurements of accuracy precision reveal a lab test's basic reliability. These terms, which describe sources of variability, are not interchangeable. A test method can be precise (reliable reproducibility) without being accurate (measuring what it is supposed to measure its true value) or vice versa.

Accuracy (Trueness)
A test method is said to be accurate when the test value approaches the absolute "true" value of the substance (analyte) being measured. Results from every test performed are compared to known "control specimens" that have undergone multiple evaluations compared to the "gold" standard for that assay, thus analyzed to the best testing standards available.

Four test results hit the bullseye

Precision (Repeatability)
A test method is said to be precise when repeated analyses on the same sample give similar results. When a test method is precise, the amount of random variation is small. The test method can be trusted because results are reliably reproduced time after time. 
Four test results hit the same area of the target but miss the bullseye

Although a test that is 100% accurate 100% precise is ideal, in practice, test methodology, instrumentation, laboratory operations all contribute to small but measurable variations in results. The small amount of variability that typically occurs does not usually detract from the test’s value statistically is insignificant. The level of precision accuracy that can be obtained is specific to each test method but is constantly monitored for reliability through comprehensive quality control quality assurance procedures. Therefore, when your blood is tested more than once by the same laboratory, your test results should not change much unless your condition has changed. There may be some differences between laboratories in precision accuracy due to different analytical instrumentation or methodologies, however, the test results are reported with standardized reference intervals specific for that laboratory. This helps your healthcare provider to correctly interpret the information its relevance to that reference interval.

Sensitivity Specificity

The tests that a provider chooses in order to diagnose or monitor a medical condition are based on their inherent ability to distinguish whether you have the condition or do not have the condition. Depending on the symptoms medical history, a provider will order tests to confirm a condition (tests with high sensitivity) or tests to rule out the condition (tests with high specificity).

Sensitivity
Sensitivity is the ability of a test to correctly identify individuals who have a given disease or condition. For example, a certain test may have proven to be 90% sensitive. If 100 people are known to have a certain disease, the test that identifies that disease will correctly do so for 90 of those 100 cases (90%). The other 10 people (10%) tested will not show the expected result for this test. For that 10%, the finding of a "normal" result can be misleading is termed false-negative. The more sensitive a test, the fewer false-negative results will be produced.

Specificity
Specificity is the ability of a test to correctly exclude individuals who do not have a given disease or condition. For example, a certain test may have proven to be 90% specific. If 100 healthy individuals are tested with that method, only 90 of those 100 healthy people (90%) will be found "normal" (disease-free) by the test. The other 10 people (who do not have the disease) will appear to be positive for that test. For that 10%, their "abnormal" findings are a misleading false-positive result. When it is necessary to confirm a diagnosis that requires dangerous therapy, a test's specificity is one of the crucial indicators. A patient who has been told that he or she is positive for a specific test yet truly does not have that disease may be subjected to potentially painful or dangerous treatment, additional expense, unwarranted anxiety, may be required to be retested. The more specific a test, the fewer false-positive results it produces.

The FDA requires that developers manufacturers of a new test provide target values for test results provide evidence for the expected ranges as well as information on test limitations other factors that could generate false results. Thus it is critical for the healthcare provider to correlate the laboratory results with an individual's clinical condition to determine if repeat testing would be needed.

What could compromise the integrity of a test what is done to minimize them?

Laboratory testing is subject to many factors that potentially could adversely affect the integrity of the sample prevent the timely reporting of an accurate test result to your provider. Typically these are grouped into three areas that track the sample from beginning to end of the process.

  • Pre-Analytical is the term used to describe things that happen from the time the test is ordered to the time the sample arrives in the lab.

  • Analytical is the term used to describe the things that happen during the handling analysis of the sample in the laboratory.

  • Post-Analytical is the term used to describe what happens after a result is obtained includes how when it is reported to your provider.

Pre-Analytic Activities
From the time a test is ordered, a chain of events is set into motion. All these steps must be done the right way to ensure that an acceptable sample arrives at the lab. The following are some of the areas where errors can occur, even though standard procedures are in place to prevent such errors.

  • Test ordering process – the provider must order the correct test using the correct test name or code.

  • Patient preparation for the test – the patient should have received appropriate instructions about diet, fasting, medications, etc. to ensure that the sample will not contain substances that interfere with the test.

  • Patient identification – the person collecting the sample needs to confirm that the person is indeed the patient on whom the test was ordered. In hospitals, this means checking for a wristbconfirming proper identification of the patient. When you are asked to give your name some other identifying information, it is to ensure that you your sample are correctly matched. If this isn't done when a sample is taken, make sure you check to see that your sample is identified correctly.

  • Completeness of patient information – the sample must be carefully labeled with two identifiers (usually patient name date of birth or medical record number the date of service) to ensure that the sample is associated with the correct patient. A hard copy requisition or electronic version must accompany the specimen includes the tests ordered, patient's demographics, ordering practitioner's demographics, date of service, the phlebotomist's identification.

  • Specimen collection procedures – the sample must be collected in the correct type of container mixed with the right preservative, when appropriate. The laboratory staff who collect samples receive special training on how to collect samples for each kind of test.

  • Transport to the lab – some samples need to be kept cold, while some need to be processed tested within a limited time, so careful handling prompt transportation are important components to sample integrity. In addition, ambient temperatures during transport, with extremely hot or cold weather, may also have an impact on specimen integrity must be addressed accordingly.

Automated ordering systems are increasingly used to expedite orders minimize errors in sample collection test requests. Use of computer technology (Laboratory Information System or LIS) allows healthcare providers to quickly input the test orders themselves. Since there are thousands of laboratory tests that may be selected from a laboratory's test menu, this process minimizes the chance for misunderstanding of what tests are desired. Many of these systems can generate labels that include a bar code for tracking identification of a patient the specific tests ordered. It can also provide supplemental information on the sample size needed (how much blood needs to be drawn), types of containers or blood tubes to be used to collect the sample, information about handling, transporting, storing samples.

For some tests, your diet, medications, exercise history are important for proper interpretation of results. In some cases, special preparation must be taken to get reliable results for a test (such as fasting overnight before blood glucose or cholesterol is checked). A patient who does not follow preparation instructions or provides insufficient information to the healthcare provider undermines the entire quality assurance effort for a specific test.

Analytic Activities
Many test methods use automated analyzers, thus minimizing opportunities for human error. In the past decade or so, integrated computer technology has greatly enhanced the ability to accurately consistently manage proper specimen identification, process of specimen testing, test result reporting. In addition, these complex instruments can incorporate surveillance systems to detect malfunctions or other discrepancies bring them to the attention of the laboratory staff.

Once the specimen is received in the laboratory, quality assurance procedures guide monitor all related activities include the following:

  • Instrument operations – all instruments are calibrated tested regularly according to standard protocols that address quality control, maintenance, operation.

  • Valid test reagents – all test materials have an expiration date. The lab has routine procedures to make sure that test materials are good have not gone past their expiration date.

  • Testing personnel – laboratory personnel who perform the testing must meet certain educational training criteria. Many are professionally certified in some states are required to be licensed in order to perform laboratory testing. (SeeWho's Who in the Lab.)

Post-Analytic Activities
After the test is completed, the result must be delivered in a timely fashion to the healthcare provider.

  • Report sent to appropriate party – the report needs to be sent to the provider who ordered the test any other healthcare professional identified to receive the report in order to diagnose, treat, or manage their patient.

  • Timely reporting of data – for most laboratory tests, an expected turn-around-time (TAT) is established is often monitored as part of the quality assurance program.

  • Reference intervals – laboratory reports must include a framework for interpreting the results, which is referred to as the "reference interval." Each laboratory must establish a reference interval for every test they offer or provide a written interpretation of the test results. In general, small variations in these intervals may be observed from laboratory to laboratory due to differences in instrumentation or testing methods. They also may be adjusted for biological factors such as sex, age, or other clinical situations. When a specific test is used to monitor a patient over a period of time, using the same laboratory to obtain those results provides a level of consistency to the treatment plan.

  • "Critical limits" – each laboratory has in place a system for immediate reporting to the ordering provider any finding that reflects a critical or life-threatening condition. When a test value falls within the critical limits, immediate action is required. Failure to report critical values may result in a patient's death or a medical condition that cannot be reversed.

Most laboratory results are collated managed by a sophisticated computer system (Laboratory Information System or LIS) capable of sending electronic reports to the healthcare provider by directly printing the report in a provider's office with a dedicated printer, by email, or by automated faxing. These computers can track test orders, provide pre-analytical information, assist in quality control quality assurance procedures, alert laboratory staff of an unusual finding such as a critical value, report store all laboratory results. Laboratory reports generated by the system can also highlight values that fall outside the expected or reference interval to help the provider focus on the tests that are of most concern.

Here is one example of a laboratory report containing the elements described above.

My test results came back from the lab my doctor wants me to repeat the test. Why?

A healthcare provider is expected to evaluate all of the relevant findings – laboratory test data plus information from other sources, such as physical exam, personal family histories, signs and symptoms, other diagnostic examinations, i.e., X-rays, EKG, etc. – before settling on a diagnosis developing a treatment plan. Given the complexities in human physiology disease response, no diagnosis should ever be made solely on the basis of a single lab test. The clinician must always ask, "Do the test data fit with the other pieces of the puzzle?" Careful evaluation consideration of test findings increase the reliability of a diagnosis can reduce the chance of medical errors.

Information sources critical to diagnostic process

As this diagram shows, data from medical tests are part of the information set that needs to be considered when a healthcare provider makes a diagnosis. When a laboratory report indicates abnormal or unexpected results, it is incumbent on your healthcare provider to further evaluate corroborate the information at hto ensure an accurate diagnosis. If the data do not correspond with the clinical picture, additional information may be needed retesting may be appropriate. In some situations, the progression of the disease or condition may not be evident for the testing modality to be relevant.

Is there anything I can do?

Yes. Sometimes there are things you do or don't do that can affect your tests results. Following a couple of guidelines can help to ensure that your results are interpreted correctly by your healthcare provider:

  • Your healthcare provider, medical office staff, the sample collection site, or the laboratory performing the testing should discuss with you how to prepare for a test to avoid known interferences. You may be instructed to fast or avoid certain foods or activities. Carefully follow these instructions to prepare for the test.

  • Since some test results can be affected by medications, vitamins, other over-the-counter health supplements, it is important that you provide a complete honest medical history so that your provider can correctly interpret the results from the lab.

If you your provider are surprised by a test result, here are some questions you could discuss together.

  1. Is the result consistent with my symptoms current health state?

  2. How often do false-negative or false-positive results occur with this test?

  3. Is the course of action being considered serious enough that we should retest?

  4. Do we have any reason to doubt the quality of the findings?

  5. Would it be appropriate in this case to get a second opinion?

Conclusion

Laboratory testing is a science professionally conducted with rigorous statistical analysis, quality controls, extensive oversight. Medical testing is an important component in the diagnostic tool kit of a healthcare provider. However, it is most reliable when used in conjunction with other meaningful data collected in the diagnostic process, when appropriate questions are asked answered, when there is open communication between healthcare teams patients.

You can put great trust in the data generated by today’s exacting medical tests. A caveat to remember is that a diagnosis treatment plan for a serious disease should never be based on a single medical test. Test findings are just one of the pieces of the diagnostic puzzle.

Help your healthcare provider with the interpretation of the data by providing thorough information on your medical history keeping track of symptoms you wish to report. To reduce the chance that you are improperly diagnosed given potentially harmful unnecessary medical procedures, first follow test preparation instructions carefully tell your healthcare provider the person collecting your sample about any exceptions you made.

Accessing your lab report after you have testing done is a good way to stay informed you can follow up with your healthcare provider if you have any questions concerning your results.

Article Sources

NOTE: This article is based on research that utilizes the sources cited here as well as the collective experience of the Lab Tests Online Editorial Review Board. This article is periodically reviewed by the Editorial Board may be updated as a result of the review. Any new sources cited will be added to the list distinguished from the original sources used. To access online sources, copy paste the URL into your browser.

Sources Used in Current Review

Sanford KW, McPherson RA. Preanalysis, in Henry's Clinical Diagnosis Management by Laboratory Methods, 22ed (2011).McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Elsever-Sanders: Philadephia. Chapter 3, pp 24-36.

Khalsa AK, Santa Cruz M, Saubolle MA. Principles of preanalytic postanalytic test management, in Clinical Laboratory Management, 2nd ed. Garcia LS, ed. Am Society for Microbiology: Washington, DC (2014). Chap 26, Pp 488-505.

Sources Used in Previous Reviews

Forsman, Rodney. The Value of the Laboratory Professional in the Continuum of Care. Clinical Leadership & Management Review. November/December 2002. Pp. 370-373.

Otto CN. "Identification of criteria for a report card to evaluate clinical laboratory testing services." CLMR 16(1):7-16, 2002.

Nowakowski R (1992). A Review of Theoretical Practical Aspects of Clinical Laboratory Testing. Optometry Clinics. Vol. 2; issue 1: pp. 1-14.

Oppenheim IA (1972). Textbook for Laboratory Assistants. CV Mosby Co., Saint Louis: p. 20.

Barnett RN (1971). Clinical Laboratory Statistics. Little, Brown Co., Boston: P. 9.

Hood W. (1980). A-Z of Clinical Chemistry. Halsted Press, New York: pp. 2 291.

Stiene-Martin EA, Lotspeich-Steininger CA, Koepke JA, eds. (1998). Clinical Hematology: Principles, Procedures, Correlations. Lippincott-Raven Publishers, Philadelphia: Pp. 565-576.

The Johns Hopkins Consumer Guide to Medical Tests (2001). Margolis S, editor. Medletter Associates, Inc., New York: P. 36.

Fernandes JJ (December 1991). Realistic Expectations of Laboratory Testing. Journal of the American Osteopathic Association. Vol. 91; issue 12: Pp. 1223 1228.

Wurman S (2001). Diagnostic Tests for Women. TOP, Newport, RI: P. 3.

Goldmann DR (1999). American College of Physicians Complete Home Medical Guide. Dorling Kindersley Ltd., New York: P. 213.

Woods MA (1994). The Clinical Medical Assistant. WB Saunders Co, Philadelphia: Pp. 183-187.

Abbott Laboratories, product insert, aHIVAB. Available online at http://www.abbottdiagnostics.com/getPDF.cfm?controlNumber=344038.

Diagnostics Enable Medical Information Age; Improving Health Care Decisions. Presentation by AdvaMed to the House of Representatives, May 11, 2006. Available online at http://www.advamed.org/publicdocs/news_event_ald_act2006.shtml.

American Society of Clinical Pathologists. Lab Facts. Available online at http://www.ascp.org/general/labweek/guidefacts.asp. Accessed 3/1/02.

Mayo Foundation for Medical Education (October 25, 2000). Headline Watch: Colorectal Cancers DNA Testing. Available online through http://www.mayoclinic.com. Accessed 3/6/02.

Mayo Foundation for Medical Education (January 23, 2001). Pap Smear: Simple, Lifesaving Test. Available online through http://www.mayoclinic.com. Accessed 3/6/02.


便民咨询电话:0757-82969789 急救电话:0757-82969993 投诉电话:82969789 82969399

地址:广东省佛山市禅城区人民西路11号 邮政编码:528000 澳门新葡京线上注册

Copyright 2006-2010 Powered_by 澳门新葡京线上注册 www.lantianting.com,佛山妇幼保健院 All Rights Reserved.

友情链接:

支付宝 挂号缴费,不用排队

生活号

预约挂号、付费,免排队

服务号

咨询视窗,您最贴心的朋友

订阅号

"健康佛山"政务微信

公众号
关闭