Standard operating procedure reduces inter-operator variation and improves accuracy when measuring packed cell volume

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: To evaluate whether a standard operating procedure for canine packed cell volume (PCV) measurement reduces operator dependent variation, and improves accuracy within a veterinary teaching hospital environment.

Material and methods: Clinical staff and final year undergraduate veterinary students were recruited to perform PCV measurements in blinded duplicate samples. Participants were randomly allocated to perform this with, or without, a standard operating procedure (SOP). Participants’ results were compared against a reference, generated by the authors following the World Health Organisation guidelines.

Results: The study population comprised 18 clinical staff and 39 students. Three clinical staff and seven students displayed errors consistent with inaccurate reading, only one of which had access to the SOP. Five students and two clinical staff, had errors attributable to incorrect preparation, with only one having access to the SOP. Inter-operator variation was significantly less using the SOP. Using the SOP, 95% of results were within 0.0125 L/L of the reference value, in comparison to within 0.09 L/L without SOP. Inter-operator variation was significantly less in the SOP group (p = 0.0025).

Clinical significance: Using the standard operating procedure resulted in less variation and more accurate results. This confirms that PCV measurement with an SOP can truly be a “waived” test.
Original languageEnglish
JournalVeterinary Record
Early online date2 Feb 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Feb 2019

Keywords

  • PCV
  • Packed cell volume
  • standard operating procedures
  • SOP

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