Aim and objective: Measurement uncertainty (MU) calculation for quantitative parameters is a mandatory requirement as per ISO 15189:2012. The concept of MU and its applicability is still ambiguous although the terminology has been around for more than two-and-a-half decades. Since accreditation bodies are aligned to ISO 15189:2012, it is interesting to understand the extent of awareness of MU and perception of its usefulness in our clinical setting.
Materials and methods: A questionnaire-based survey was conducted to understand the awareness and perception of MU along with interviews and focused group discussions. Prior training on how to use MU in a clinical setting was given before the survey. Responses to the questionnaire were analyzed using Microsoft Excel.
Results: The majority of laboratorians were aware of the terminology and confident to explain the use of MU during test result-related queries. However, there were challenges anticipated such as complexity in calculating the ranges, incorporation in laboratory information system, and acceptability by patient population. Both laboratorians and clinicians felt that MU helps in analyzing patient results more accurately and this process of change would require more time for better acceptance.
Conclusion: We conclude from our study that laboratory consultants with enough knowledge of MU can confidently introduce and implement MU in their daily practice. Clinicians were willing to interpret results with MU provided it was documented alongside the test report especially for the critical parameters which is obviously the challenging aspect for the labs.
Clinical significance: The feasibility of the introduction of MU alongside patient's report is useful in interpreting critical parameters and provides a scientific evidence for consideration in a change of patient management rather than an arbitrary subjective analysis of serial monitoring of results.
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