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DIAG206-0312: Quality Management for the Veterinary Clinical Pathology Laboratory, Part I

INSTRUCTOR(S): Kathleen P. Freeman, DVM, BS, MS, PhD, DipECVCP, MRCPath, MRCVS, Certificate in Laboratory Quality Management (University of Wisconsin)IDEXX Labs, UK, Wetherby, West Yorkshire, UK
Ernst Leidinger, DVM, Dip.ECVCP, Specialist for Clinical Pathologist (national); Lab director and clinical pathologist at In Vitro laboratory in Vienna, Austria
Stefanie Klenner, DVM,, Diplomate ECVCP, Hannover, Germany
Karen Gerber, BVSc, MRCVS, ASVCP (Pathology), ACVP (Clinical Pathology)

COURSE OPEN: March 18-July 4, 2012
REAL TIME SESSIONS (RTS): Sundays, March 25, April 8, 22, May 6, 20, June 3 and 17, 2012; 3:00pm-4:30pm ET (USA)
Course RTS Times in Your Area: World Clock Converter

Practice Sessions: In order to prepare you for a successful experience in your CE course, we request you attend a practice session prior to the first Real Time Session. Times and dates will be listed in your course confirmation email. Expect to spend up to 1 hour at one of the 2-4 practice sessions held prior to the first Real Time Session.

Level and Prerequisites: This class is a prerequisite for Quality Management for the Veterinary Clinical Pathology Laboratory, Part II. The instructors require that participants of this course have a specific type of training and experience, due to the advanced level of the course material.

The majority of candidates will be those in training for a career in clinical pathology or those who already working in the clinical pathology laboratory. In some instances there may be a practitioner or veterinary nurse with an intense interest in clinical pathology that may wish to take this course, but should be advised that the course is intensive and will require a considerable input of time and effort when coming from a background without prior experience in a clinical pathology laboratory typical of a University or reference laboratory.

Desired experience should include:

VIN CE Course: Open to veterinarians and veterinary technicians. This course has been submitted for RACE approval for veterinarians and veterinary technicians.

Course Description:
The course, "Quality Management for the Veterinary Clinical Pathology Laboratory," is designed to provide an introduction to and practical application of quality management in the veterinary clinical pathology laboratory. It is given in two parts (Part I and Part II). Part I is a prerequisite for Part II.

In Part I, participants will be introduced to theories of management and concepts vital to quality planning. Examples of ISO-based and GLP standards are included. Laboratory design, Westgard Rules, QC Validation and Sigma Metrics are covered.

In Part II, participants will learn about audits in the veterinary clinical pathology laboratory and determination of reference intervals, as well as Improvement Opportunities, external Quality Assurance performance and a Quality Plan for the laboratory. There is an introduction to Method Validation and Instrument Performance Verification.

There will be real time classroom sessions approximately every 2 weeks. The majority of the work will be done by e-mail of drafts and revisions to the instructors, with the final products of some sections shared with the rest of the participants by posting on the course message boards. The review and participant questions will also be shared on the course message boards. In order to demonstrate satisfactory participation in this course, participants are expected to attend all of the real-time sessions, hand in completed homework assignments and to work with the instructor(s) in revising assigned items until both the instructor(s) and participant are satisfied with the results, as well as pass the examination with a score of at least 60%.

There is some flexibility in the length of time of the course to accommodate holidays for the Instructors and participants. These should be arranged in advance between the instructor and the participants assigned to him/her.

This course consists of seven (7) 90 minute Real Time Sessions, supplemental library materials, interactive message board discussions, weekly assignments, and a mandatory end-of-course test.

Upon completion of this course, the participant should be able to

Course Materials: Course materials will be available in the course library prior to each Real Time Session.
Required textbooks: There is no required textbook for this course.

About the Instructors:
Dr. Freeman is a 1981 graduate of Oklahoma State University, College of Veterinary Medicine and received her MS and PhDs from OSU in 1984 and 1987, respectively. She was on faculty at OSU and then at Cornell University before taking a detour and teaching all sorts of Science courses and in the Educational Opportunity Program at Ithaca College for several years.

During these years she was also doing cytology and laboratory consultations for commercial laboratories.

She then moved into commercial laboratory medicine and worked as Director or Senior Clinical Pathologist at several laboratories. She moved to the UK in 1997 to develop a diagnostic laboratory service for the Animal Health Trust and was Head of Anatomic and Clinical Pathology there. She subsequently moved to Scotland and works from home for Idexx Laboratories, based in Wetherby, West Yorkshire.

She is past Chair of the ASVCP QA Committee and the ECVCP Laboratory Standards Committee and is currently a member of both committees, as well as the ECVCP Examination Committee.

She has special interests in QA, QC, customer service, cytology and general clinical pathology.

She obtained a Certificate in Laboratory Quality Management via e-learning from the University of Wisconsin and had the opportunity to work with James Westgard which she says was a great experience!

It is that course that provided the inspiration for her to develop THIS course for Quality Management in the Veterinary Laboratory.

Course Outline:
Week 1 (Real Time Session March 25, 2012 ):
Instructor(s): Freeman
Introduction to Concepts of Total Quality Management, LEAN management and Six Sigma Management

Week 2 (No Real Time Session):
Introduction to Quality Planning and Quality Standards

Week 3 (Real Time Session April 8, 2012 ):
Instructor(s): Klenner
What Should a Veterinary Clinical Pathology Laboratory Look Like?

Week 4 (No Real Time Session):
Policies and Standard Operating Procedures

Week 5 (Real Time Session April 22, 2012):
Instructor(s): Klenner
Westgard Rules

Week 6 (No Real Time Session):
Westgard Rules

Week 7 (Real Time Session May 6, 2012):
QC Validation

Week 8 (No Real Time Session):
QC Validation

Week 9 (Real Time Session May 20, 2012):
Instructor(s): Leidinger
QC Validation

Week 10 (No Real Time Session):
QC Validation

Week 11 (Real Time Session June 3, 2012):
Instructor(s): Freeman
Additional Revision

Week 12 (No Real Time Session):
Additional Revision

Week 13 (Real Time Session June 17, 2012):
Instructor(s): Klenner
Review, Discussion, Questions and Sharing

Week 14 (No Real Time Session):


Tuition: Member $650
Non-Member $650

This course is not open to Veterinary students.
*To ensure participants are ready and prepared for classes, enrollment will close when the maximum number of participants is reached or at 5pm ET the day of the first Real Time Session unless otherwise noted. If the first Real Time Session is on a weekend, course enrollment will close on the Friday before the first Real Time Session.

*For more information on how online CE works, see the Participant Resource Center.


  1. Enrollment qualifications: VIN CE courses are open to VIN member and non-member veterinarians. Veterinarians enrolling in a VSPN CE course must be a VIN member. Veterinary support staff must be a VSPN member to enroll in a VSPN CE or a VIN CE course open to VSPN member enrollment.
  2. Each enrollee must be able to receive emails from and addresses. Email is our major form of communication with participants; personal emails are highly recommended rather than clinic/hospital email addresses.
  3. Each person is individually responsible for his/her own registration. To ensure that all information received is secure and correct, please do not enroll for a course on behalf of another individual.
  4. For further assistance call 1-800-700-INFO (4636) or email (VIN CE) or (VSPN CE) Please include the course title, your full name, and contact information in your correspondence.
*Note: "This course is submitted for approval for 10.5 continuing education credits in jurisdictions which recognize AAVSB RACE approval; however participants should be aware that some boards have limitations on the number of hours accepted in certain categories and/or restrictions on certain methods of delivery of continuing education." Call VSPN/VIN CE at 1-800-700-4636 for further information. (Attendees are encouraged to check with their licensing jurisdiction(s) for information regarding recognition by their board).

Course withdrawal and refund policy: A complete refund of the paid course price will be issued when your withdrawal request is received prior to the listed start date of the course. If you wish to withdraw after the start date please contact the VIN/VSPN office 1-800-700-INFO (4636) to discuss eligibility for a pro-rated refund.
* Note: To ensure rapid handling of your request for withdrawal, we recommend that you call the VIN/VSPN office at 1-800-700-INFO (4636).

* For more information on VIN's Upcoming CE Courses check the Course Catalog at

Katherine James, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (SAIM)
VIN Education Coordinator

VIN CE Services:
1-800-846-0028 or 1-530-756-4881 or direct line to VIN/VSPN from the United Kingdom: 01452226154
Andrea Pomposo (; ext 126
Debbie Friedler (; ext 756
Heather Schoffstall (; ext 116
Jennifer Boyle (; ext 169


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