SEQC Spanish Society of Laboratory Medicine

Spanish Society of Laboratory Medicine

The SEQCML is preparing a White Book to provide information on the current situation and the challenges of the clinical laboratory

Preparation of the document - a pioneering project in the clinical laboratory field in our country – will be preceded by a survey of sector professionals

  • The SEQCML hopes to be able to offer proposals for improvement for laboratories and their professionals.
  • This initiative is part of the Strategic Plan of the Society and represents a commitment made by the Board of Directors at the Conference on the Future of Laboratory Medicine held in Zaragoza.

The Spanish Society of Laboratory Medicine (SEQCML) has begun work on the preparation of a White Book on Laboratory Medicine in Spain, a document that seeks to summarize the situation of public and private laboratories and their professionals. This is the first time that an initiative of this kind has been carried out in the clinical laboratory field in our country.

As the first phase in the preparation of this White Book, the Society is carrying out a comprehensive national survey among various Clinical Laboratory professionals so as to have all the necessary information.

The survey will gather information on issues such as the organizational model, resources available, the number of tests that must be done, their resolution capacity, the accreditation and training plans carried out, as well as the teaching and research activity, quality control, and challenges for the future.

As stated by the president of the SEQCML, Dr Imma Caballé, “full knowledge of the current state of the specialty of Laboratory Medicine requires gathering basic information about the current situation. But also, through this initiative, we will not only obtain a picture of the number of laboratories, professionals, activity, etc. of our specialty, but also trends and future projects will be revealed”.

“The final objective of the survey is to facilitate decision-making based on objective information,” indicated Dr Antonio Buño, vice president of SEQCML. For this reason –he adds-, once finished and analysed, the SEQCML will proceed to the publication of the final report, in such a way that it is accessible not only to members, but also to political leaders, managers, professionals, and other agents involved”.

The White Book is one of the major projects of the Society. In fact, it is part of its Strategic Plan, explains its president, who points out that “it is also a commitment on the part of the Board of Directors that we made at the Conference on the Future of Laboratory Medicine held in Zaragoza”.

Detailed information on the operation of clinical laboratories

The purpose of the survey is to know the operation of the clinical laboratories in our country in more detail, to later be summarized in the White Book. In this sense, the study is interested in aspects such as the origin of requests received by laboratories (Primary Care, Emergency, hospitals, specialists, etc.), or if there is an organic dependence on a service or a model of continuing care.

Likewise, both qualitative and quantitative data (number of employees, for example) on laboratory operations are being requested. There is also interest in other activities related to the management carried out by laboratory professionals, such as attendance at clinical commissions, the acquisition of equipment and reagents, and participation in the laboratory's business strategy.

Challenges for the future

Regarding future challenges, the survey asks that clinical laboratory specialists assess the importance of the main challenges they face, including the integration and consolidation of their own centre, the emergence of new specialties, patient response times, the attraction and retention of talent, the temporal characteristics of personnel, the capacity for carrying out research and clinical trials, certification and accreditation, teaching, innovation, and big data.

The White Book seeks to establish a series of guidelines so that laboratories can face the changes that are expected in coming years. In this respect, respondents are also asked about their continuous improvement programs and their environmental and waste management programs.