oa African Journal of Laboratory Medicine - Quality matters in strengthening global laboratory medicine - : commentary

Volume 5 Number 2
  • ISSN : 2225-2002
  • E-ISSN: 2225-2010



Around 300 BC, during the time of the ancient Greek physician, Hippocrates, the first documented examination of human bodily fluids was conducted. This gave birth to laboratory medicine, which is the use of laboratory tests to guide clinical investigations. Ever since, as a result of its multi-faceted nature, ensuring the quality of testing in laboratory medicine has remained a challenge, but is an evolving practice in many countries. In the developed world, laboratory medicine has been transformative and, in most cases, is the science behind clinical care and disease surveillance. Central to the practice of laboratory medicine in the developed world is the recognition of the importance of quality assurance (QA). As such, there is regular review of existing policies in order to ensure the continuous improvement of quality systems. For instance, in the United States, reports by the Institute of Medicine, (1999), and The Committee on Quality of Health Care in America, (2001), helped refocus attention on the need to minimise medical errors and improve quality.

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