Evaluation of the role of metrological traceability in health care: a comparison study by statistical approach

Maria do Ceu Ferreira, Ana Matos, Rogério Puga Leal

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To evaluate the role of metrology in healthcare facilities, a study was performed among Portuguese hospitals to identify and analyze issues concerning the concept of metrological traceability. The discussion is structured around a dataset obtained from a survey questionnaire covering 44 public and private Portuguese hospitals. The principal results of our analysis include identifying some key indicators that apply to certified/accredited hospitals. Test reports and calibration certificates were the main metrological traceability documents required by the hospitals. The acquisition of medical measuring instruments with conformity reports depended on the type of hospital. Maintenance was considered the most relevant issue for private hospitals, whereas for the public hospitals, this issue is less important than trust in the supplier. For public hospitals, purchase price was the most important requirement. For hospitals that acquire calibrated measuring instruments, only 50 % perform in-house calibration. We conclude that trust in supplier is associated with a lower overall budget for maintenance operations. The protocol established by hospitals to acquire measurement instruments does not reflect metrological concerns, and the relationship between maintenance and metrological operation is not well established. Thus, we conclude that metrological traceability is largely absent in the daily considerations of healthcare professionals and facilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)457-464
Number of pages8
JournalAccreditation and Quality Assurance
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015


  • Health
  • Measuring instruments
  • Metrological traceability
  • Metrology
  • Quality assurance


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