Hematology laboratories have an essential role in the diagnostic evaluation of many medical conditions, including blood disorders. In recent decades, major technological advancements have occurred, affecting the range and types of assays offered by hematology laboratories, with increased use of highly sophisticated analyzers in the developed world. At the same time, there has been increasing emphasis on the total quality of laboratory diagnostics, including the incorporation of scientific evidence into practice. The emphasis on quality improvements have extend from the initial step of ensuring that the right tests are made available for patient care and that they are appropriately run and utilized. This requires laboratory personnel to have access to high quality educational materials that address issues relevant to practice including: technical factors that impact on assay performance; methods for validating assays for clinical and laboratory use, how to best monitor quality performance by internal and external quality assurance, interpretation of morphologic and analytical test results, and critical assessment of medical and technical literature. The tremendous advances in laboratory hematology, and increasing emphasis on total quality, have increased global needs for knowledge dissemination and for practical strategies to translate knowledge into practice for hematology laboratories.
The International Society for Laboratory Hematology has an important role in supporting the field of laboratory hematology worldwide. Our Society recognizes that there are growing demands for materials and information that promote high quality education and practice updates, in both the developed and developing world. Among hematology organizations, our Society is unique for focusing on technical advances that are relevant to clinical hematology laboratory practice. Our leadership team (including board members and councilors) represent both the resource rich parts of the world (including Europe) and greatly values the creation of accessible educational materials and mentorship opportunities for laboratory hematology professionals in developing parts of the world as initiatives to support and promote best practices. In the last decade, the International Society for Laboratory Hematology has networked, partnered and collaborated with a number of organizations as part of its vision to better support hematology laboratory practices worldwide. Building upon the success of these efforts, and our visions to further promote best practices, we have developed plans for projects that will create high quality educational materials and foster knowledge dissemination, mobilization and translation into practice among hematology laboratories worldwide.