A serious healthcare issue today is that patients’ lab results can disagree depending on where their tests were performed and what measurement procedures were used.
To solve this problem, the Association for Diagnostics & Laboratory Medicine (formerly AACC) and a variety of international stakeholders recently formed the International Consortium for Harmonization of Clinical Laboratory Results, an oversight body whose goal is to organize global efforts to achieve harmonization of—or ensure uniformity among—clinical laboratory test results.
Why Is Harmonization Important?
Harmonization is crucial to making sure patients get the care they need, as well as to reducing healthcare costs.
Discrepancies among testing methods and labs can:
- Lead to patients getting the wrong treatment due to incorrect diagnoses.
- Reduce the effectiveness of clinical practice guidelines, which frequently rely on laboratory test results to help healthcare practitioners determine if and when treatment is necessary.
- Impede clinical studies.
Conversely, the few laboratory tests that have been harmonized to date, such as those for cholesterol, glucose, and hemoglobin A1c, have made a marked positive impact on diagnosis and treatment of heart disease and diabetes.
What Work Is the Association for Diagnostics & Laboratory Medicine (ADLM) Doing on Harmonization?
ADLM’s International Consortium for Harmonization of Clinical Laboratory Results is working to coordinate harmonization activities worldwide such as:
- Prioritizing harmonization of the most important diagnostic tests.
- Developing technical processes to achieve harmonization.
- Tracking the success of harmonization.
- Facilitating communication between different national and international organizations working on harmonization.
- Providing a resource center for information on harmonization.
ADLM also released a position statement on harmonization to raise awareness about this essential healthcare issue and provide basic guidance on how various stakeholders in the medical community can work together on it.
Learn More About Harmonization and How You Can Get Involved
Visit ADLM’s harmonization site.
Read ADLM’s harmonization position statement.