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June 5, 1981


Author Affiliations

Sacramento, Calif
From the Department of Pathology, University of California at Davis, School of Medicine, Sacramento, Calif.; Member, editorial board, The Journal.

JAMA. 1981;245(21):2212-2213. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03310460064031

Quality Control in Medical Laboratories  The most important recent publication in this modern field was another landmark supplement to the American Journal of Clinical Pathology entitled "Report on the Quality Assurance Programs of the College of American Pathologists." This is a cyclic product of the premier organization in the world that deals with human laboratory quality control. This report, however, only samples the colossal data base accumulated by the College of American Pathologists in these efforts. The supplement includes 18 articles and should be reviewed in toto by all medical laboratorians.Gilbert and Platt1 reported on seven years of calcium and potassium analyses by thousands of laboratories. A remarkable improvement in both analyses was demonstrated between 1971 and 1977, with coefficients of variation decreasing from 6.5% to 4.3% and 4.1% to 2.3% for serum calcium and potassium, respectively. This improvement was attributed to widespread application of new and better