examples of accuracy and precision in chemistry

Document Sample
examples of accuracy and precision in chemistry Powered By Docstoc
					CLIN.CHEM.39/7, 1446 (1993)

Accuracy and Precision Goals in Clinical Chemistry Testing: Can They Be Defined
by Medical Relevance?
   One of the first attempts            to set analytical      goals in     our appreciation        and thanks       for the countless     hours
clinical    chemistry      was made in 1976 at the Aspen                    they spent in organizing          this Forum.
 Conference organized by the College of American                      Pa-       Some of the speakers          asked me what do we expect
thologists     (CAP). I did not attend that Conference, but                 from this Forum. “We,” in this case, refers to the two
have kept the published           proceedings     within arms’ reach        organizations      and the participants.       To put it simply, we
                                                                            would like to formulate          answers to two questions:
in my office.
                                                                                1. Is it feasible to set goals for accuracy       and precision
    The idea of having           a conference       on accuracy      and
                                                                            in clinical     chemistry      that are definable       by medical
precision goals in clinical chemistry             definable by medi-        relevance? If the answer is no, that will be the end of
cal relevance came during the 1990 Annual Meeting of                        this idea. If the answer is yes, then we should find a way
the National Committee              for Clinical Laboratory        Stan-    to do it.
dards. In a symposium           on inspection and accreditation,                2. Is this the right approach to setting goals? I believe
proficiency     testing,    and rules of the Joint Commission               that this Forum will provide a rational                approach in
on Accreditation         of Healthcare       Organizations     and the      setting goals for accuracy and precision in clinical chem-
Clinical Laboratory         Improvement       Amendments        of 1988,    istry. This may discourage            competition   among the in-
I raised that possibility.         Dr. Frank Elevitch responded             strument manufacturers            for the smallest possible stan-
by saying, ‘Yes, it can be done; the time has come.”                        dard deviation or coefficient of variation:             a link with
    In the spring of 1991, I met with Dr. Donald Sen-                       sanity is needed. It may also change the approach by
hauser, then president-elect           of CAP, and invited CAP to           which requirements         in proficiency testing are set. In the
join the American         Association     for Clinical Chemistry       in   long run, it may result in a reduction of laboratory costs.
organizing      the Forum. After acceptance              of the invita-         On behalf of the AACC Board of Directors and the
tion by the CAP Board of Governors,                  AACC and CAP           AACC membership,             I express my gratitude         to Boeh-
proceeded      to appoint two program             co-chairmen:     John     ringer Mannheim           Corp., Diagnostics      Laboratory     Sys-
Batsakis      from the CAP and David Witte from the                         tems, whose generous grant to the Van Slyke Society
AACC.        To the two    co-chairmen     and to the members         of    has made the 1992 Clinical Chemistry Forum possible.
the Forum Committee,      Katherine    Erickson, Ronald                                                                     Basil T. Doumas
Laessig, and Harrison Sine, Dr. Senhauser    and I express                  President,   AACC

1446       CLINICAL   CHEMISTRY,   Vol. 39, No. 7, 1993

Shared By: