The American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC), along with 19 other healthcare organizations, are petitioning Congress for an additional $7.2 million to be appropriated to the CDC in an effort to improve clinical laboratory test harmonization. According to the AACC, “every patient should have access to dependable and accurate clinical laboratory test results … and those test results should be harmonized.” 1
Different labs may use different methods of analyzing results and these differing methods may utilize different units of reporting. What many patients and providers assume (oftentimes incorrectly) is that lab tests done on the same sample/specimen by different labs at different times are comparable (both in interpretation and in sample quality).
The ultimate goal of clinical laboratory harmonization is to obtain the correct result on the correct patient at the correct time and in the correct form, while also utilizing the correct test choice with the correct interpretation and the correct recommendation for treatment. 2
Harmonization will be a long-term process involving a variety of stakeholders including providers, laboratories, payers, the government, and other policymakers with an ultimate goal of improving patient care and quality outcomes.