Preanalytical phase – a continuous challenge for laboratory professionals
Preanalytical phase is the most vulnerable part of the total testing process and is considered to be among the greatest challenges to the laboratory professionals. However, preanalytical activities, management of unsuitable specimens and reporting policies are not fully standardized, nor harmonized worldwide. Several standards related to blood sampling and sample transportation and handling are available, but compliance to those guidelines is low, especially outside the laboratory and if blood sampling is done without the direct supervision of the laboratory staff. Furthermore, for some most critical procedures within the preanalytical phase, internationally accepted guidelines and recommendations as well as related quality measures are unfortunately unavailable. There is large heterogeneity in the criteria for sample rejection, the diff erent strategies by which unacceptable samples are managed, processed and test results reported worldwide. Management of unacceptable specimens warrants therefore immediate harmonization. Alongside the challenging and long road of patient safety, preanalytical phase off ers room for improvement, and Editors at Biochemia Medica Journal definitely hope to continue providing a respective mean for reporting studies on diff erent preanalytical phase topics. With pleasure and delight we invite potential future authors to submit their articles examining the quality of various preanalytical activities to Biochemia Medica. We will keep nurturing this topic as our prominent feature and by this we hope to be able to deliver valid evidence for some future guidelines and recommendations.