National Proficiency Testing Scheme for Blood Banking in Thailand-2000.

R. Soisangwan and S. Rojanasuphot
Bureau of Laboratory Quality Standards (BLQS),Department of Medical Sciences, Ministry of Public Health, Nonthaburi, Thailand

     The National Proficiency Testing Scheme in Blood Banking (NPT) has been solely conducted in Thailand since 1986 by BLQS. The scheme involves proficiency testing for assessment of 627 voluntary Blood bank laboratories of both government and private hospitals throughout Thailand. The test items consisting of red blood cell suspensions and sera are sent to participating laboratories three times a year for testing of ABO blood groups and screening of unexpected antibodies according to their routine procedures. Test results are returned to the provider for evaluation by interlaboratory comparisons against consensus results from reference laboratories. Evaluated scores ranged from 4 (excellent),<4 to 3.5 (very good), < 3.5 to 3.0 (good), < 3.0 to 2.5 (satisfactory) and < 2.5 (poor).
     The main objective of the study is to review the evaluation results from the proficiency testing scheme. Retrospective results from the year 2000 were analyzed. The overall results are : 63.8% of the laboratories returned the complete test results. Among them, 21.5%,58.5%,9%,3% and 8% had excellent, very good, good, satisfactory and poor performances, respectitively. Poor performance of the laboratories was mainly due to 1) misinterpretation of the reaction ; 2) inconsistency results between cell grouping and serum grouping reactions and 3) performing by a non-standard procedure. The quality assessment data are useful for self-assessment of the laboratories, setting the training course and action plans for improving quality of the laboratories. NPT is part of the ministry's policy for health assurance and is mandatory for approval by an external accreditation bodies, i.e. ISO / IEC 17025 or hospital accreditation.

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