PFT Data Accuracy: Are Simple Calibrations Really Enough?


In diagnostic laboratories, effectiveness and efficiency heavily depend on quality assurance. Quality measures often begin by ensuring equipment performance.1 Unfortunately, pulmonary function testing (PFT) instrument errors can occur and go unrecognized by technicians and physicians. Such errors result in misclassification of PFT interpretations that can have serious consequences for patients.2 Instrument errors will, more often than not, require a patient to return to the PFT lab for repeat testing.

The American Thoracic Society (ATS) and the European Respiratory Society (ERS) published PFT guidelines in 2005 that recommend robust quality assurance and quality control programs. Yet, a low percentage of compliance or diligence on the part of PFT labs remains globally.1,3,4

Course summary

This webcast reviews and discusses strategies that will help you build and maintain quality programs in your PFT laboratory.

Questions and answers

Read lecturer Gregg Ruppel's answers to frequently asked post-presentation questions about this webcast.


This program is approved for 1 hour of CRCE credit.

This webcast is approved by the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC).

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Learning objectives

Identify the difference between calibration and quality control


Explain how a calibration syringe can be used for quality control


Suggest how a biologic control might be used for troubleshooting