TABLE 15

Suggested quality assurance monitors in the mycobacteriology laboratorya

AreaQuality assurance monitorb
Specimen collectionMonitor vol of specimens submitted; provide feedback to providers
Monitor no. of specimens per patient; electronic mechanism for larger laboratories would be necessary
Monitor rejected specimens
Turnaround timeMonitor specimen delivery turnaround time
Monitor turnaround time for processing specimen
Monitor turnaround time for reporting AFB smear results
Monitor turnaround time for reporting first-line AST results for the M. tuberculosis complex
Cross-contaminationMonitor first-time-positive TB patients; send isolates for molecular typing if contamination is suspected
Processing of specimenMonitor robustness of digestion/decontamination procedure by monitoring non-AFB growth in solid and liquid media
Monitor positivity rate in population
Correlate AFB smear positivity with culture results
Correlate TB NAAT positivity with AFB smear and culture results
  • a See reference 248.

  • b AFB, acid-fast bacilli; TB, tuberculosis; NAAT, nucleic acid amplification test.