- What is quality management?
- What is a quality management system?
- What are standards and guidelines?
- What is accreditation?
Below the quality pyramid is shown. The first layer is the basis of quality management and consists of quality control: all the procedures need to have quality control checks at critical point to check if the work is resulting in a quality outcome and to detect errors. The second layer is quality assurance. In quality assurance the laboratory implements procedures to make sure that control steps are always done. One of the activities that can be counted under quality assurance is standardization, for example through introduction standard operation procedures (SOPs). This assures that the work will always be carried out in exactly the same way and that all the steps of a procedure are always done. By creating a quality system the laboratory will not only control and assure quality of its activities, but also improve based on lessons learned from quality control and quality assurance. The quality system needs to be managed with proper leadership and planning to ensure that it is always running. This is achieved through quality management.
Hence, note that quality management not only relates to the result, but to all the activities taking place within a laboratory. Only when quality performance of all the procedures is managed in a good way, the quality of the work, and thus the patient results, can be guaranteed.