1.2.3-1-Using Data to Improve the Lab

SLMTA 3 E-Learning Course Download Video
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The balanced scorecard, a performance management tool, provides a snapshot of laboratory functions by presenting key quality indicators in an easy-to-read format. Scenarios provide practical opportunities to analyze and investigate laboratory quality data and implement the improvement cycle.


  • Using data is a cornerstone of laboratory improvement.

  • Quality indicators are metrics used to define and measure progress in improving the quality of laboratory services.

  • Key quality indicators are chosen because each one gives a unique viewpoint of the structure and processes of the laboratory. Using two, three, or more indicators simultaneously provides a broad integrative view of overall laboratory function.

  • Thoughtful data analysis, investigation, and brainstorming are required to jumpstart the improvement cycle.

  • The balanced scorecard is a performance management tool. The balanced scorecard provides an ‘easy-to-read’ snapshot of laboratory functions.


Can you:

  • Define the key quality indicators?
  • Use the Balanced Scorecard to monitor laboratory quality and guide continuous improvement?
  • Analyze a monthly summary of key quality indicators, investigate and identify possible underlying problems?
  • Plan an improvement project using a PDCA cycle?


Beatrice van der Puije

Ms. van der Puije helped redesign the classroom-based SLMTA 3 curriculum for on-line delivery and will serve as an instructor and facilitator of the e-learning course. Based in Ghana, Ms. van der Puije is a Public Health Program Manager at African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM), a pan-African organisation strengthening medical laboratory networks and systems in Africa. Ms. van der Puije is a certified QMS Trainer, with a Master of Science Degree in Medical Immunology and Microbiology. She is a SLMTA master trainer and has trained numerous laboratorians in the past decade.

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