Total quality improvement in the IVF laboratory: Choosing indicators of quality

Jacob F. Mayer, Estella Lynn Jones, Donna Dowling-Lacey, Fariba Nehchiri, Suheil J. Muasher, William E. Gibbons, Sergio C. Oehninger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The purpose of this paper is to describe a programme of total quality improvement (TQI) within the IVF laboratory and to provide specific examples of indicators that could be used in such a TQI programme. Although TQI is sometimes confused with quality control (QC) and quality assurance (QA), there are major differences between the three quality plans: (i) QC is an activity designed to ensure that a specific element within the laboratory is functioning correctly; (ii) QA is a comprehensive programme designed to looks at a laboratory as a whole and to identify problems or errors that exist in an attempt to improve the entire process; (iii) TQI is also a comprehensive monitoring process designed not only to detect and eliminate problems, but also to enhance a laboratory's performance by exploring innovation and developing flexibility and effectiveness in all processes. Indicators used in a TQI plan should be objective, relevant to the laboratory, and measure a broad range of specific events or aspects of treatment that reflect the quality of care. Threshold values for each of the indicators should be based on how the specific protocols used in the laboratory impact the outcomes and the nature of the indicators on quality of care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)695-699
Number of pages5
JournalReproductive biomedicine online
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2003


  • Assessment
  • IVF
  • Improvement
  • Indicators
  • Laboratory
  • Quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Developmental Biology


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