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Revista americana de medicina respiratoria

On-line version ISSN 1852-236X


ARCE, Santiago C  and  DE VITO, Eduardo L. Characteristics of pulmonary function laboratories in Argentina. Rev. amer. med. respiratoria [online]. 2011, vol.11, n.4, pp.226-231. ISSN 1852-236X.

Introduction: The characteristics of pulmonary function laboratories (PFL) in our country are unknown. This information is essential to develop policies intended to harmonize their functioning. Methods: Thirty-five PFL where surveyed in A) Buenos Aires Metropolitan Area, and B) Countryside, through interviews and electronic forms, respectively. Data on structure and processes were requested. Results: Lack of uniformity of different nature and magnitude in several aspects was observed. These differences were more apparent in the individual analysis than in the cluster analysis by geographic area and type of management of the PFL. Ninety-four percent of the PFL follow in their practice the ATS/ERS guidelines. The vast majority of their directors agree on implementing a quality control program. Discussion: The lack of uniformity among the PFL can be due to multiple causes: a) absence of regulations, b) PFL located at inadequate premises, c) lack of training programs, d) cost of supplies and accessories, e) absence of national policies for access to their services. Conclusion: It is necessary to achieve agreement upon criteria among the participants and health authorities in respect of structure and processes. It is expected to ensure fast and high quality access to patients, physicians and health supporters.

Keywords : Pulmonary function laboratory; Quality; Accreditation; Pulmonaty funtion test.

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