When our institution grew into an integrated multihospital health system, we were faced with the need to standardize laboratory processes, including blood bank processes, across all locations. The purpose of this article is to describe our experience of standardizing the protocols for prenatal testing.
For each hospital in the system, we established service tiers to define tests offered on site or referred to another location. For each prenatal test, we examined the related processes for ways to improve uniformity, efficiency, and reliability. Throughout this process of standardization, we collaborated with the clinical services to gain concurrence on the interpretation and reporting of results.
We created and implemented a uniform protocol for testing prenatal patients. The protocol standardized the definition of critical titer, instituted criteria to identify passively acquired anti-D, and established a process for the follow-up of women with inconsistent serologic results on Rh(D) typing.
Close collaboration with the clinical services ensured that our testing protocol is aligned with the needs of the integrated obstetrics service in the health system. The approach described in this article may provide a plan outline for pathologists facing similar challenges at other integrated health systems.
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