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DIAG207-1008: Quality Management for the Veterinary Clinical Pathology Laboratory, Part II

Kathleen P. Freeman, DVM, BS, MS, PhD, DipECVCP, MRCPath, MRCVS, Certificate in Laboratory Quality Management (University of Wisconsin)
In conjunction with the European College for Veterinary Clinical Pathology, Committee for Laboratory Standards
Asger Lundorff Jensen, Professor, DVM, PhD, DrVetMed, DiplECVCP, DiplECVIM-Ca, Head of Veterinary Studies (Bachelor's programme), Head of Veterinary Studies (Master's programme), Central Laboratory Dept. Small Animal Clinical Sciences Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen Groennegaardsvej
Martina Becker, DVM, DrMedVet MRCVS, Clinical Pathologist at IDEXX Laboratories
Federico Sacchini

October 26, 2008 - January 11, 2009
Interactive sessions: Sundays, October 26, November 9, 23, December 7, 21 and January 4; 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm ET (USA)

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 one 14-week and one 12-week part (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 will be included. Laboratory design, Westgard Rules, QC Validation and Sigma Metrics will be covered.

In Part II, participants will study personnel specifications, job descriptions, training records and employee appraisals, learn about audits in the veterinary clinical pathology laboratory and determination of reference intervals. Improvement Opportunities, external Quality Assurance performance and a Quality Plan for the laboratory are the final topics in Part II.

There will be real-time sessions every other week. 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.


At the end of Part II of this course, the participants should:

  1. Understand concepts of personnel specification, job descriptions, training records and employee appraisals and their relationships and show how to approach this by drafting a personnel specification, job description, training record and employee appraisal form for a position within the veterinary clinical pathology laboratory.

  2. Know how to apply quality standards for an audit in the Veterinary Clinical Pathology Laboratory and show how to do this by writing an SOP for an audit and designing an Audit Form for a process or task and conducting an audit for an item within his/her laboratory.

  3. Know how to do health and safety risk assessments for the Veterinary Clinical Pathology Laboratory and show how to do this by designing a Risk Assessment Form and performing a Risk Assessment for an item within his/her laboratory.

  4. Know how to evaluate performance of the laboratory in external Quality Assurance (QA) and show how to do this by evaluating external QA for an instrument within his/her laboratory choice and making recommendations based on the findings.

  5. Know about continuous quality improvement in the laboratory and show how to promote this by developing an Improvement Opportunity Form.

  6. Know how to apply concepts for quality planning in order to promote ongoing quality improvement with the veterinary clinical pathology laboratory and show how to apply concepts for quality planning by drafting a Quality Plan for his/her laboratory.

  7. Share their thoughts, experiences, comments and work with others in the course in order to contribute to better understanding of the topics and appreciation of the approaches taken by others to similar or different laboratory circumstances

  8. Successfully pass an examination with multiple choice, short answer and/or essay questions regarding the above topics by achieving a score of > or = 60%
Course Outline:
Dates in parentheses indicate the date of the real-time session.

Week 1 (October 26) and 2: Personnel Specifications, Job Descriptions, Training Records and Appraisal

Week 2: Personnel Specifications, Job Descriptions, Training Records and Appraisal, cont'd and Audit (no Week 2 real-time session)

Week 3 (November 9): Audit, cont'd.

Week 4: Health and Safety Risk Assessment (no Week 4 real-time session)

Week 5 (November 23) and 6: Reference Intervals (no Week 6 real-time session)

Week 7 (December 7): Improvement Opportunities

Week 8: External QA Performance Evaluation (no Week 8 real-time session)

Week 9 (December 21): Quality Plan for the Clinical Pathology Laboratory

Week 10: Continued Revisions (no Week 10 real-time session)

Week 11 (January 4): Review, Discussions, Questions and Sharing

Week 12: Examination (no Week 12 real-time session)

Discussions will begin on the start date of the course and continue for 7 days following the last real-time session.

CE HOURS: 9 CE Credits

Member and Non-Member/$800 by October 12, 2008;
Member and Non-Member/$1000 after October 12, 2008.
*Course registration is via instructor permission only. Please email for more details before registering for this course. Course not open to veterinary students.

Required Textbook: None

Recommended Textbook: None

For More Information on VIN's Upcoming CE Courses, check out

Note: "This course has been approved for 9 hours of continuing education credit 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 VIN at 1-800-700-4636 for further information."

COURSE WITHDRAWAL AND REFUND POLICY: Withdrawal prior to the listed start date of a course entitles the registrant to a complete refund or a credit toward a future VIN CE course, whichever is preferred. Withdrawal within 1 week after the listed start date (i.e. including no more than one real-time session) entitles the registrant to a credit toward any future VIN CE course. (Does not apply to courses with only one real-time session.) After the first real-time session, a registrant may withdraw due to special circumstances and receive prorated credit towards a future VIN course. These requests will be handled on an individual basis. The amount of the prorated credit will be determined based on 65% of the time remaining in the course at the time of withdrawal. It is not possible to withdraw retroactively. Note: To ensure rapid handling of your request for withdrawal, we recommend that you call the VIN office at 1-800-700-INFO.

Debbie Friedler
Continual Education Division
Veterinary Information Network


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