The role of EQA in QC - 8 Pages

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Catalogue excerpts

QUALITY CONTROL Improving Laboratory Performance Through Quality Control The five simple steps for QC success 2. The Role of EQA in Quality Control Complete QC solutions for results you can trust

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The Role of EQA in QC Quality Control (QC) is a vital process for laboratories to monitor the accuracy and precision of patient sample testing. Without QC, laboratory errors could go undetected potentially resulting in misdiagnosis and inappropriate or delayed treatment, all of which could be life threatening for the patient. Taking an holistic view While Internal Quality Control (IQC) does a vital job it is only part of the overall quality management picture. For example, IQC doesn’t address calibration issues, instrument systematic errors or wide ‘acceptable’ limits. Equally, while IQC effectively...

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Real life examples The following real life example highlights the importance of participating in a reputable EQA scheme in addition to daily IQC, in order to ensure laboratory quality, and prevent the release of incorrect patient results. This laboratory was running the instrument manufacturers QC for their procalcitonin assay. Figure 1 shows that the lab’s results were always within 1SD and showed no apparent bias. According to these results the laboratory has excellent precision and accuracy. However, when the lab participated in an EQA scheme (fig 2.) they discovered this was not the case. Fig...

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How does EQA work? EQA provides a means of periodically assessing laboratory performance in comparison with other laboratories using the same method and instrument. Unlike IQC, EQA provides an effective method of monitoring a laboratory’s bias or accuracy through the analysis of samples of unknown concentrations otherwise known as ‘blind samples’. It also enables assessment of the complete testing process including pre-analytical, analytical and post analytical phases. After analysis, results are submitted to the scheme organiser for statistical evaluation. Laboratories will subsequently receive...

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Benefits of EQA EQA plays an essential role in assuring laboratory quality by supporting daily IQC. It facilitates interlaboratory performance comparison, bringing greater standardisation in diagnostic testing. It helps laboratories detect equipment failures, identify reagent problems and review staff competency It maintains and improves the analytical quality of laboratory tests It improves interlaboratory agreement and helps raise standards Provides an objective view of test system performance that IQC alone cannot provide It compares different analytical methods Initiates and evaluates corrective...

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Firstly, make sure the scheme is inspected and accredited to international standards of best practice. It should be accredited to ISO/ IEC 17043:2010, which outlines the general requirements for proficiency testing. Accreditation to this level gives scheme participants confidence that the scheme is fit for purpose. The frequency of programme reporting is also important, the more frequent the better Some international schemes offer both bi-weekly and monthly reporting enabling identification of errors sooner. It is vital that EQA is performed regularly. Many EQA schemes operate on a quarterly basis...

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As part of your EQA scheme you will be provided with ‘blind’ samples to be analysed as if they were patient samples. Analytes should be provided in a realistic range of concentrations, allowing assessment of normal and abnormal ranges, both analytical and clinical decision levels should be covered. It’s important that samples should be stable, but free from interfering preservatives or stabilisers, and offer a matrix consistent with a human sample. Labs should be confident that EQA material mirrors that of patient samples. EQA programmes should offer flexibility to customise the programme to suit...

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QUALITY CONTROL Randox Laboratories Ltd, 55 Diamond Road, Crumlin, County Antrim, BT29 4QY, United Kingdom +44 (0) 28 9442 2413 True third party controls offering complete test menu consolidation Uniquely combining more than 100 parameters conveniently in a single control, laboratories can significantly reduce costs and consolidate without compromising on quality. As true third party controls, unbiased performance assessment with any instrument or method is guaranteed. Online QC software with real-time peer group statistics Compatible for use with the Acusera range of third party controls, the...

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