In 2011 we have attempted to check the quality of spirometric measurements in people aged>65 years, as – according to the literature, they may have problems with proper execution of the manoeuvers. Mesurements ware made using JAEGER’s MasterLab, the analysis was made on the results of 1304 measurements made in patients aged 65-94 years, using ERS/ATS error codes. This analysis revealed that 2.2% of them were not able to perform spirometry at all. Of the remaining 1275 patients, 32,6% made it without any errors, 53,2% made 1 error, 12,1% made 2; 1,6% made 3 and 0.5% made 4 errors recognized by software. The dominant error was error ‘100’ – no plateau at end expiration. The results, although better than seen in the literature have been the subjects of extended discussion among clinicians, respiratory technologists and technicians, in order to point out domains of possible improvement.
A year later the analysis was repeated; this time there were 1277 patients eligible for analysis. The quality was improved in all aspects: only 1.9% were not able to perform spirometry; in the remaining 1253 patients the percentage of good spirometries was 51.1%; 45.6% of patients made 1 error; 2.7% 2 errors; 0.4% 3 errors and 0.2% 4 errors. Again – the dominant error was error ‘100’ which in fact is the problem of Jaeger software rather than technicians’ performance.
Those results show, that careful analysis of errors may result in improvement of quality of spirometric results. Such analysis should be performed repeatedly to ensure the highest level of quality.