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Introduction to Quality Control (Online CE Course)

(based on 1,107 customer ratings)

Authors: Jean Houger Hengesbaugh, MS, CLS(NCA) and Brad Westover, BS
Reviewer: Alex Casapu, MBA, MLS(ASCP)CM

This course presents the basics of quality control in the clinical laboratory. Topics include assayed and unassayed controls, Levey-Jennings plots, Westgard rules, and standard deviation.

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Continuing Education Credits

P.A.C.E.® Contact Hours (acceptable for AMT, ASCP, and state recertification): 1 hour(s)
Approved through 12/31/2020
Florida Board of Clinical Laboratory Personnel Credit Hours - Supervision/Administration, Quality Control/Quality Assurance, and Safety: 1 hour(s)
Approved through 9/1/2022


  • Explain the purpose of a quality control program.
  • Define assayed and unassayed controls and the advantages/disadvantages of each type.
  • Discuss various quality control tools.
  • Prepare a Levey-Jennings control chart.
  • Explain the Westgard QC multi-rule approach.
  • Define random and systematic errors and causes for each.
  • Define accuracy and precision and discuss the statistical tools that are used to monitor each.

Customer Ratings

(based on 1,107 customer ratings)

Course Outline

Click on the links below to preview selected pages from this course.
  • Introduction to Quality Control
      • Quality Control and a Quality Control Plan
      • Which of the following may be included in a quality control plan?
  • Quality Control Tools
      • Quality Control Tools
      • Intralaboratory (Internal) Quality Control
      • Assayed and Unassayed Controls
      • Internal Quality Control Program
      • Determining the Frequency for QC Testing
      • Additional Variables
      • Instrument Maintenance
      • Record Keeping
      • External Quality Assessment
      • Commercially available control materials for some laboratory instruments or method systems may be assayed or unassayed. Both will monitor the accuracy...
      • If a laboratory is part of a system, it can compare its proficiency testing (PT) results with other laboratories in the system prior to submitting the...
      • Delta Checks
  • Statistical Analysis of Control Data
  • Quality Control Charts
  • References
      • References

Additional Information

Level of instruction: Basic

Intended Audience: Medical Laboratory Scientists, Medical Technologists, and Medical Laboratory Technicians, Clinical Laboratory Science students.

Course Information: This course provides important basic concepts in quality control that are useful to laboratory personnel who report patient results. Topics include: precision, accuracy, random and systematic errors, standard deviation, mean, and coefficient of variation, quality control tools and an overview of the Westgard multi-rule approach for evaluating QC results. 
Author information: Brad Westover received his BS in Physics in 2006 from the California Institute of Technology. He is currently pursuing a Ph. D. at the University of California, San Diego.
Reviewer Information: Alexandru Casapu, MBA, MLS(ASCP)CM, PBTCM has over 20 years of experience as a medical laboratory scientist, section supervisor, and laboratory manager. He is the former Director of Clinical Laboratory Technology Program at Georgia Piedmont Technical College. He is currently a Program Director at MediaLab, Inc. Alexandru holds BS degrees in Biology and Medical Technology from Clark Atlanta University and a MBA from the University of Georgia.

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