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The widespread use of automated white blood cell (WBC) differential counts and computer generated whole slide imaging has decreased the time that the technical staff dedicates to morphological assessment of blood cells. However, technologists must maintain their morphological skills and laboratories are required to provide education and assess competency in this area on a regular basis.


This study will help assess the effectiveness of educational and practical experience policies and procedures dedicated to the laboratory’s efforts in maintaining technologist skills in the performance of accurate WBC differential counts and other peripheral blood smear morphological assessments. The evaluation provided will assist in the construction of individual educational programs for the technical staff and show areas that need focused review and improvement. The study will help management meet applicable CLIA, CAP Laboratory Accreditation, and The Joint Commission laboratory requirements for personnel competency requirements and consistency of reporting amongst staff.*

Data Collection

A series of online, whole slide images of Wright-Giemsa stained peripheral blood smears using DigitalScope® technology will be available to each participating institution to assess technologists’ performance on WBC differential counts and morphology assessment. Technologists will provide information about their continuing education and professional background. Information will be collected from each site regarding their institution’s minimum continuing education requirements for their technologists in hematology and relevant procedures and policies related to peripheral blood smear assessment.

Performance Indicators

  • Individual technologist score (%) based on a standardized competency assessment method to determine a technologist's ability to identify various WBC types, red blood cell morphology, and platelet morphology in normal and abnormal cases
  • Overall laboratory score based on the facility's individual technologist performance(s)

Reports are provided at institution and technologist levels. A summary of responses to the general questions will be provided for participants.

Program Information

To meet your staff technical competency assessment requirements:

  • Result forms for up to 10 technologists (QPC10)
  • Result forms for up to 25 technologists (QPC25)
  • Multiple kits may be purchased to accommodate quantity needed.

Shipping Schedule

C Mailing: June 3, 2024

Additional Information

*Participation in this study helps laboratories meet:

  • CLIA personnel requirements (Subpart M, 42 CFR §493.1)
  • CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program Checklist statements GEN.55500 Competency Assessment of Testing Personnel
  • HEM.34400, consistency of morphologic observation among personnel performing blood cell microscopy at least annually
  • The Joint Commission Standards HR. 01.05.03, 01.06.01, 01.07.01 and LD.04.05.03 and 04.05.05 regarding in-service training, continuing education, competency, and evaluation of hospital personnel
Select Q-PROBES and Q-TRACKS studies to support your quality improvement initiatives.
Anatomic Pathology
Clinical Pathology
Turnaround Time
Patient Safety
Transfusion Medicine
Chemistry/ Hematology
Customer Satisfaction
Non-Physician Care Team Satisfaction With Clinical Laboratory Services (QP231)
Technical Competency Assessment of Body Fluid Review (QPB10)
Technical Competency Assessment of Peripheral Blood Smears (QPC10/QPC25)
Technical Competency Assessment of Gram Stains (QPD10/QPD25)
Patient Identification Accuracy (QT1)
Blood Culture Contamination (QT2)
Laboratory Specimen Acceptability (QT3)
In-Date Blood Product Wastage (QT4)
Gynecologic Cytology Outcomes: Biopsy Correlation Performance (QT5)
Satisfaction with Outpatient Specimen Collection (QT7)
Stat Test Turnaround Time Outliers (QT8)
Critical Values Reporting (QT10)
Troponin Turnaround Times (QT15)
Corrected Results (QT16)
Outpatient Order Entry Errors (QT17)

*The CAP requires accredited laboratories to have a quality management plan that covers all areas of the laboratory and includes benchmarking key measures of laboratory performance (GEN.13806, GEN.20316, COM.04000). The Joint Commission requires accredited hospitals to regularly collect and analyze performance data (PI.01.01.01, PI.02.01.01). CLIA requires laboratories to monitor, assess, and correct problems identified in preanalytic, analytic, and postanalytic systems (§493.1249, §493.1289, §493.1299).

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