Improved standardized performance is needed because urinalysis continues to be one of the most frequently requested laboratory tests. Since 1997, the European Confederation of Laboratory Medicine (ECLM) has been supporting an interdisciplinary project aiming to produce European urinalysis guidelines. More than seventy clinical chemists, microbiologists and ward-based clinicians, as well as representatives of manufacturers are taking part. These guidelines aim to improve the quality and consistency of chemical urinalysis, particle counting and bacterial culture by suggesting optimal investigative processes that could be applied in Europe. The approach is based on medical needs for urinalysis. The importance of the pre-analytical stage for total quality is stressed by detailed illustrative advice for specimen collection. Attention is also given to emerging automated technology. For cost containment reasons, both optimum (ideal) procedures and minimum analytical approaches are suggested. Since urinalysis mostly lacks genuine reference methods (primary reference measurement procedures; Level 4), a novel classification of the methods is proposed: comparison measurement procedures (Level 3), quantitative routine procedures (Level 2), and ordinal scale examinations (Level 1). Stepwise strategies are suggested to save costs, applying different rules for general and specific patient populations. New analytical quality specifications have been created. After a consultation period, the final written text will be published in full as a separate document. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.
- Analytical quality specifications
- Bacterial culture
- Test strips
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Biochemistry