Lab Med Online.  2020 Apr;10(2):152-159. 10.3343/lmo.2020.10.2.152.

Korean Clinical Laboratory Accreditation Program Quality Standards for Laboratory Management: Identifying a Compliance Gap with World Health Organization Quality System Essentials

  • 1Department of Laboratory Medicine and Genetics, Soonchunhyang University Bucheon Hospital, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine, Bucheon, Korea
  • 2Department of Laboratory Medicine, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea
  • 3Department of Laboratory Medicine, Ilsan Paik Hospital, Inje University College of Medicine, Goyang, Korea


The Laboratory Medicine Foundation (LMF) checklists explain the accreditation requirements of the program and reflect quality standards like those of the Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) or quality system essentials (QSE) of the World Health Organization (WHO). In this study, we have analyzed how the LMF checklists correlate with the 12 QSE elements of the WHO.
The LMF checklists for laboratory management (LM) (version 2019) were classified into the 12 specific QSE elements by five laboratory physicians. Each checklist item was classified into specific element if four or more participants agreed, and into overlapping elements when two or more of them agreed for two different items. Any changes in checklist items and chapter structuring of the checklist since 2009 were investigated.
The LM checklists consisted of 183 checklist items, including 20 (10.9%) classified into overlapping QSE elements. The QSE element with the highest number of items was the facilities and safety (62, 33.9%), followed by the personnel (22, 12.0%), and the process control (17, 9.3%). In contrast, QSE elements with the lowest number of items were the customer service (4, 2.2%) and process improvement (4, 2.2%). Items belonging to the customer service and the organization elements have increased since 2017.
The LMF checklists reflect current quality goals for clinical laboratories and play a leading role in the laboratory's quality improvement. The results of our study will be of help in potentiating the quality leader role of LMF checklists, and international harmonization of our laboratory accreditation program.


Laboratory accreditation; Laboratory Medicine Foundation; World Health Organization; Quality system essentials; Peer review; Laboratory management
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