National Center for Clinical Laboratories is in charge of quality assessment and management commissioned by the administrative department of National Health and Family Planning Commission. One of the main functions of National Center for Clinical Laboratories is to provide the external quality assessment service. External quality assessment (proficiency testing) is the main part of internationally recognized quality management for clinical laboratory and healthcare organization as well. The main function of external quality assessment includes the following: a) to assess the ability of specific tests and to monitor the maintaining of laboratory tests; b) to identify the laboratory quality issues, to promote the improvement, and to improve the laboratory quality; c) to estimate the effectiveness and comparability of different methods; d) to identify differences between laboratories; and e) to enhance the trust of doctors and patients on the laboratory tests. Laboratory quality assessment is an essential way on laboratory quality assurance and improvement, and it is also the basic requirement for administration and laboratory accreditation of clinical laboratories in most countries around the world.
With the support of Health Administrative Departments and the joint effort of laboratory staff, the external quality assessment by National Center for Clinical Laboratories has made great progress since 1982. The range of laboratory program is increasing continually in the past 30 years. By now the external quality assessment programs cover clinical biochemistry, immunology, hematology, microbiology, molecular biology, clinical blood transfusion, and clinical pharmacology with more than 290 routine programs. With the improvement of the programs, evaluation frequency, sample properties and levels, target value determination, and evaluation criterion have tended to be reasonable. Moreover, trueness verification is added to improve the assessment system. To make an efficient, convenient and accurate quality assessment programs, the working procedure has been constantly optimized and the information level has been continuously improved. National Center for Clinical Laboratories operates quality system of Accreditation Criteria for Proficiency Testing Providers (ISO/IEC 17043) in recent years and 270 programs have been approved by China National Accreditation Service for Conformity Assessment.
With the enthusiasm and responsibility, we believe that it will continue to drive the development of the career on clinical research through our own efforts in the future.
The policies of National Center for Clinical Laboratories are fairness, science, effectivity, timeliness. The external quality assessment scheme was established with the aim of helping medical laboratories to improve the clinical laboratory management and technical level. To ensure the quality and reliability of the results, the reference system of blood lipids, blood cell analysis, enzymology, glycosylated hemoglobin, electrolytes, metabolites and total proteins, and the reference methods of drug sensitivity have been established. With advanced technology and high-quality technical staff, the National Center for Clinical Laboratories provides the external quality assessment service to all the medical laboratories with high quality.