Consensus Conshmensus

compromise

The new glucose meter standards allow for 2% (CLSI) or 1% (ISO) of glucose meter errors to be limitless. In an upcoming editorial in Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, I say why this is a bad idea.

In this entry I talk about the non-technical aspects of this situation. My second hand information says that the 2% CLSI spec was a compromise and part of the consensus process and that some members of the subcommittee wanted to keep the old 5% of the errors could be limitless. Compromise is of course a way of life. You buy a new car and compromise on the price. The problem is with some things you don’t compromise. No one would say that 2% wrong site surgery is acceptable even though having a spec for 0% wrong site surgery will not prevent wrong site surgery from occurring. So to have a bad spec and pass it off as part of a consensus process is a problem. And if nothing else, it makes you wonder if other parts of the spec are the result of compromise.

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