Inaccurate measurements of lung function are useless and, in some cases, can lead to misdiagnosis or the administration of incorrect treatment.
Spirometers have a computer interpretation system; however, a computer-suggested interpretation cannot always be relied upon and should not substitute for interpretations by an experienced healthcare professional and should not be used in making clinical decisions.
The quality assurance over-reading service has been initiated to ensure that the quality of spirometry performed in primary care, occupational and non-specialist office settings meets acceptable national and international standards. Prompt identification of shortfalls in spirometry quality arising from poor test acceptability, deficiencies in device accuracy or calibration, inappropriate use of test protocols or training issues can be identified.
The use of spirometry over-reading is expected to:
- reduce the variability of spirometry
- better overall quality
- monitor calibration
- assist in meeting national and international standards and legal requirements
- remote telephonic coaching
- be used for operator accreditation