Two aspects of the Cost of Quality are important in the medical laboratory—the theory behind the quality cost types and the application of those cost types to laboratory activities. The labor and materials expended in your laboratory are either costs that support good quality or costs of poor quality. However, laboratory operating budget reports don’t show this important difference because the financial effects of the cost of poor quality appear only as line item overruns. Then at budget time, when the laboratory makes across-the-board cuts to the entire budget, costs that support good quality, such as equipment maintenance, quality control, and personnel training are also reduced. Everyone in the laboratory should understand the basic principles of the cost of quality.
This program contains material from the recently revised Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) guideline QMS20, The Cost of Quality in the Medical Laboratory. The program reviews the four types of quality costs and provides laboratory examples. Case studies generic to every laboratory highlight how the quality costs types are applied to routine laboratory activities and show how to identify each cost type. Participants are given a basic tool to track the costs of quality in their laboratories, which helps eliminate recurring sources of poor quality.
1. Discuss each of the 4 types of quality costs with relevant laboratory examples
2. Calculate the cost of poor quality for a defined laboratory problem
3. Link current laboratory quality indicators to the costs of poor quality