External quality assurance in thrombosis and hemostasis: an update

John D. Olson, Richard A. Marlar, Ian Jennings, William L. Nichols


In 2005, several external quality assurance (EQA) providers met and formed the External Quality Assurance in Thrombosis and Hemostasis (EQATH) group, although a formal Charter was not enacted until 2016. The goals of EQATH are to: identify the organizations involved with EQA in thrombosis and hemostasis; determine the functions and scope of these EQA programs; share information with the goal of improving the quality of existing programs and to seek methods that may standardize some activities; develop EQA samples that can be shared among EQA programs to determine the variation that may exist is various regions of the world; inform laboratories participating in EQA programs of the identified problems in laboratory testing; work with existing ISTH Scientific Subcommittees and Working Groups, providing information regarding clinical laboratory needs for standards and to help with the validation and value setting of standards; work with other organizations in developing recommendations and guidelines for EQA program activities; collaborate with other organizations and societies with interests in the quality of diagnostic coagulation testing. Since its beginning, the EQATH group has met regularly, completed two international projects, collaborated in the completion of four others and developed a guidance document for developing an EQA program in thrombosis and hemostasis. The group is now engaged in two additional projects that are underway.