At the Clinical Biochemistry and Toxicology Unit of Toma Advanced Biomedical Assays we carry out all the traditional laboratory analysis with efficiency and promptness, from routine tests to specialised laboratory examinations. Although these methods are well established analysis that have been conducted for many years, their clinical significance in the diagnosis and investigation of many diseases is crucial. The quality and accuracy of all data collected from any department should not be neglected or underestimated, because false data can entirely affect the upcoming diagnosis and treatments.
Even in this field, Toma has opted for two winning strategies: staff’s up to date training in line with the latest medical laboratory and technological developments. The introduction of latest generation automated equipment, internal and external quality control systems (IQC and EQC respectively) have enabled Toma to attain high quality levels in both stages of analysis and process, as well as in pre-analysis and post-analysis. According to a study published by the Italian Ministry of Health in its Ministerial Decree of 5 March 2003, “Risk-Management in Healthcare – The issue of error”, are the most vulnerable stages, in which the greatest number of errors occurs. Right from its beginnings, Toma has instead evolved with the objective of overcoming these issues and its continuing focus on cutting-edge technologies (whether from the market or developed on site) has enabled it to focus on each process stage, particularly the pre-analytical stage, thereby ruling out any possibility of error as far as possible. In fact, the pre-analytic stage, (the barcode labelling of specimens, the preparation of the necessary number of specimens, arranging the test pieces in the analyser racks) is organised electronically using an innovative piece of apparatus: the Pathfinder, and not by hand. This cuts off the risk of human error, which is the main source of errors at this stage. Furthermore, the barcode offers secure re-traceability of each biological specimen.
The standards that regulate good laboratory practice also require that normal and pathological control samples of known titre are tested at each session of analysis (Internal Quality Control IQC). The development of internal quality-mentoring programmes guarantees the reliability of the results of tests run on patients. Once they leave the laboratory, these results are used to draw up a diagnosis, a prognosis, or to set up a suitable course of treatment of the pathology. As a guarantee of the accuracy of each result, the value of the IQC measured at each session of analysis has to remain constant within a margin of tolerance. The daily variation of the IQC is monitored by means of Control Cards. Each month, the laboratory displays its Control Cards for various biochemical analytes.