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Free Content External quality assessment of smear microscopy by the National Reference Laboratory in nine states of India [Short communication]

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The quality of sputum smear microscopy in nine Intermediate Reference Laboratories (IRLs) was assessed based on onsite evaluation conducted by the National Reference Laboratory (NRL) in India, which supervises the IRLs for external quality assessment. The IRLs were evaluated, problems were identified, causes were explored and remedial actions were suggested. The NRL reports and feedback from the states were evaluated. Of the corrective actions recommended during the initial NRL evaluation visits, 65% were implemented within a month. Subsequent visits to seven IRLs showed 80% improvement. The NRL suggestions resulted in immediate corrective actions and had a sustained impact.

Keywords: EQA; onsite evaluation; panel testing; random blinded rechecking

Document Type: Short Communication

Affiliations: 1: Tuberculosis Research Centre, Indian Council of Medical Research, Chetput, Chennai, India 2: Central TB Division, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, New Delhi, India

Publication date: September 1, 2009

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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