Quality Control (by LabCE)

2 P.A.C.E. contact hour(s)

(based on 1,232 customer ratings)

Author: Garland E. Pendergraph, PhD, JD, MLS(ASCP)SM, HCLD/CC(ABB)
Reviewer: Barbara Cebulski, MS, MLS(ASCP)CM; Alex Casapu, MBA, MLS(ASCP)CM

Course provided by LabCE.

Quality Control is a comprehensive course in QC terminology, practices, statistics, and troubleshooting for the clinical laboratory. Designed for those who have little or no experience with quality control but need a firm grounding, this course will help all students quickly and easily identify and correct errors in quality control procedures. Concepts covered include: running assayed and unassayed controls, specificity, sensitivity, Westgard rules, Levey-Jennings charts, Youden plots, and CUSUM calculations. MediaLab also offers an "Introduction to Quality Control" course to complement the more detailed and thorough presentation in this course.

See more courses in: Quality Control & Lab Math

Continuing Education Credits

P.A.C.E.® Contact Hours (acceptable for AMT, ASCP, and state recertification): 2 hour(s)
Course number 578-036-22, approved through 4/30/2024
Florida Board of Clinical Laboratory Personnel Credit Hours - Supervision/Administration, Quality Control/Quality Assurance, and Safety: 2 hour(s)
Course number 20-909852, approved through 4/30/2024


  • Define terms associated with statistical quality control.
  • Explain quality control graphical tools, including Gaussian curves, Levey-Jennings charts, CUSUM calculations, and Youden plots.
  • Detail Westgard rules used to identify QC problems.
  • Provide practical examples of QC in laboratory environments.
  • Give suggestions for troubleshooting quality control errors.

Customer Ratings

(based on 1,232 customer ratings)

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Course Outline

  • Definition of Quality Control
      • What is Quality Control?
  • Important Concepts in Quality Control
    • Controls
      • What is a Control?
      • Safety and Handling of Controls
      • Appearance of Controls
      • Why Run Controls?
      • Assayed and Unassayed Controls
    • Precision and Accuracy
      • Aiming for the Target
      • Closer, but not Quite
      • Bull's-eye!
    • Specificity
      • Calculating Specificity
      • Specificity Example
      • Specificity Example: Test Results
      • Specificity Example: Calculations (1)
      • Specificity Example: Calculations (2)
      • Specificity Example: Comparison
    • Sensitivity
      • Calculating Sensitivity
      • Sensitivity Example: Calculations (1)
      • Sensitivity Example: Calculations (2)
      • Sensitivity Example: Comparison
      • Specificity versus Sensitivity
    • Random and Systematic Error
      • Types of Error
      • Random Error
      • Systematic Error
    • Internal and External Quality Control
      • Internal Quality Control
      • External Quality Control
      • External Quality Control, continued
      • External Quality Control, continued
      • Comparing Types of Quality Control
    • Reference Ranges
      • Reference Ranges
  • Quality Control Procedures, Documentation and Interpretation
    • Basic Terms
      • Mean
      • Histograms
      • Standard Deviation
      • Acceptable Standard Deviation (SD)
      • Establishing Quality Control Limits
    • Levey-Jennings Chart
      • Levey-Jennings Control Charts
      • What is a Levey-Jennings Chart?
    • Westgard Rules
      • Using Westgard Rules
      • Westgard Rule 13S
      • Westgard Rule 22S
      • Westgard Rule 41s
      • Westgard Rule R4s
      • Trends
      • Shifts
    • Cumulative Summation Limit
      • What is a Cumulative Summation Limit?
      • CUSUM Example: Plotting Control Data
      • CUSUM Example: Calculating CUSUM
      • CUSUM Example: Exceeding the CUSUM Limit
      • CUSUM and Westgard Rules
    • Youden Plot
      • What is a Youden Plot?
      • Using a Youden Plot
  • Systematic Troubleshooting
      • Troubleshooting
      • Possible Corrective Actions
      • Possible Corrective Actions, continued
      • Possible Corrective Action, continued
      • Possible Corrective Action, continued
      • Possible Corrective Action, continued
  • Establishment of Verification of Method Performance Specifications
      • Verification of Performance Specifications for Nonwaived Testing
      • Verification for Nonwaived Testing
  • References
      • References

Additional Information

Level of instruction: Intermediate
Intended Audience: Medical Laboratory Scientists, Medical Technologists, and Medical Laboratory Technicians, Clinical Laboratory Science students.
Author Information: Garland E. Pendergraph, PhD, JD, MLS(ASCP)SM, HCLD/CC(ABB) is a former Laboratory Director & Director of Laboratory Operations, Quest Diagnostics-Valdosta RRL. Dr. Pendergraph received his MSPH from the University of Kentucky in Lexington, his PhD in medical parasitology and mycology from the University of  North Carolina in Chapel Hill and his law degree with a concentration in health care law from Concord Law School, Kaplan University. He also did a Fellowship in Tropical Medicine at Louisiana State University School of Medicine. He is the author of a textbook in phlebotomy, a number of scientific articles, plus internet training programs.
Reviewer Information: Barbara Cebulski, MS, MLS(ASCP)CM is a retired program director for MediaLab, Inc. Prior to 2007, Ms. Cebulski was an Inspection Specialist in the Laboratory Accreditation Program for the College of American Pathologists (CAP). During this time, she also presented on behalf of CAP at Inspector Training seminars and Point-of-Care Group conferences. In her career as a medical technologist, she has held management and supervisory positions. Barbara holds a Masters degree in Instructional Design and Technology from Georgia State University.
Reviewer: Alex Casapu, MBA, MLS(ASCP)CM, has 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. Alex holds BS degrees in Biology and Medical Technology from Clark Atlanta University and a MBA from the University of Georgia.

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