Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Health Related Sciences

First Advisor

Teresa S. Nadder


Performance on proficiency test (PT) surveys provides an objective and consistent evaluation of laboratory quality. The goal of the study, a retrospective review of existing PT results (2003) from six clinical laboratories in northeastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania was to determine the relationship of PT performance to the personnel credentials of the laboratory testing personnel. Predictor variables included the practitioner's major area of study, degree, certification and years of laboratory experience.

The study group consisted of 174 testing personnel and 11,689 proficiency-testing results, of which 11,233 were valid and included in the study. Of the 11,233 results, there were 11,120 results graded acceptable (99.0%) and 113 results were unacceptable (1.0%). The most common type of error was a technical problem (35, 31.0%) Logistic regression analysis of the full model (n=11,233, χ2 = 20.416, p=0.002) with all predictors included, showed statistical significance for the predictor, clinical laboratory major (p=0.018). Those individuals without a clinical laboratory major (EXP β = 1.820) were almost twice as likely to produce an unacceptable result when compared to those individuals with a clinical laboratory major.

The study supports the hiring of laboratory personnel who have completed a formal clinical laboratory education program. As the laboratory workforce shortage intensifies, the performance of laboratory personnel with limited years of clinical experience or those lacking a clinical laboratory major or educational degree may be important. An opportunity exists for health care facilities to investigate the benefits of clinical laboratory education programs to replenish qualified and experienced laboratory personnel.


Scanned, with permission from the author, from the original print version, which resides in University Archives.


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Date of Submission