Different microbiology laboratories often have different ways of doing things, even when under the same company or management board. There are often good reasons for these differences.
I would regard valid reasons for differences in laboratory systems falling into the following categories:
• Local disease epidemiology
• Local antimicrobial resistance patterns
• Financial reasons
• Logistical reasons
• Cultural reasons
Another reason for differences between laboratory systems are dictats from higher or corporate management levels. This may not always be welcome as the control here is somewhat outwith the laboratory itself.
Then there are the not so valid reasons for laboratory differences, which unfortunately occur all too frequently. These are:
• “Personal preference”
• “This is the way it has always been done here in this lab…”
As I work in different laboratories over the next few months, it will be interesting to see what the process differences are between laboratories that are supposedly closely linked. Where differences exist, I will try and assess whether they are justified or whether the “Ego” or “Institutionalisation” has created them.