Definition of Quality Assurance, Quality Control, and Quality Improvement
The College of American Pathologists endorses the following definitions of
quality assurance, quality control, and quality improvement:
Quality assurance in pathology and laboratory medicine is the practice
of assessing performance in all steps of the laboratory testing cycle
including pre-analytic, analytic, and post-analytic phases to promote
excellent outcomes in medical care.
Quality control is an integral component of quality assurance and is
the aggregate of processes and techniques to detect, reduce, and correct
deficiencies in an analytical process.
Quality improvement is the practice of continuously assessing and
adjusting performance using statistically and scientifically accepted
Reaffirmed August 1992 Reaffirmed February 1996 Revised August
1996 Reaffirmed August 1999 Reaffirmed November 2005