The discussion of the Center of Medicare and Mediaid services´ (CMS) new quality control option, IQCP, has sharpened the focus on QC in the laboratory and raised hopes that risk management concepts can make QC more robust. But one of the most highly regarded quality control experts in the U.S. voices skepticism about the impact of IQCP—and indeed, about U.S. quality control standards in general.
As a voluntary, customizable QC option under CLIA, IQCP or Individualized Quality Control Plan is expected to give labs greater flexibility in achieving QC compliance. However, the CLIA QC standards, unchanged since 2003, will remain the same—and that’s a problem, says James Westgard, PhD, who spoke about QC weaknesses at the 2013 Lab Quality Confab presented by The Dark Report. He believes that CLIA’s sluggish evolution on QC has nurtured a nationwide attention deficit on the subject of meaningful quality management.
In lab QC, how much room for improvement?