Laboratory accreditation provides formal recognition to competent laboratories, providing a means for customers to identify and select reliable services (CALA, n.d.). Use of accreditation standards by clinical laboratories enables them to drive gains in quality, customer satisfaction, and financial performance. This is essential at a time when laboratory budgets are shrinking.
Some key benefits include:
Recognition of testing competence – as mentioned above, customers can recognise the competence of a lab with an internationally recognised standard.
Marketing advantage – accreditation can be an effective marketing tool as labs can demonstrate their quality and overall competence.
Benchmark for performance – laboratories can determine whether they are performing to the appropriate standards and provides them with a benchmark to maintain that standard.
To maintain the global recognition gained from accreditation, labs are evaluated regularly by an accreditation body to ensure their continued compliance with requirements, and to check that standards are being maintained. (CALA, n.d.).
In a comprehensive study conducted by Rohr et al. (2016) it was found that, while accounting for as little as 2% of total healthcare expenditure, in vitro diagnostics (IVD) account for 66% (two thirds) of clinical decisions. Despite such a small percentage of budget dedicated to it, IVD plays a huge role in patient care so it is vital that there is guidance in place to ensure quality standards are met. Poor performance of tests at any stage of care and treatment can reduce the effectiveness of treatment and deny appropriate care to patients in need (Peter et al., 2010).
ISO 15189 is an international accreditation standard that specifies the quality management system requirements particular to medical laboratories and exists to encourage interlaboratory standardisation, it is recognised globally.
Meeting ISO Requirements
Scroll through below to learn how ISO 15189 regulates aspects of a clinical laboratory and how Randox can help you meet these suggestions.
“The laboratory shall have a procedure to prevent the release of patient results in the event of quality control failure. When the QC rules are violated and indicate that examination results are likely to contain clinically significant errors, the results shall be rejected…QCdata shall be reviewed at regular intervals to detect trends in examination performance”
– ISO 15189:2012
Acusera 24∙7will automatically apply QC multi-rules, alert you to or reject any results that violate the QC multi-rules or performance limits, generate a variety of charts allowing visual identification of trends and provide access to real-time peer group data to assist with the troubleshooting process.
Calculation of MU
“The laboratory shall determine measurement uncertainty for each measurement procedure in the examination phases used to report measured quantity values on patients’ samples. The laboratory shall define the performance requirements for the measurement uncertainty of each measurement procedure and regularly review estimates of measurement uncertainty.”
– ISO 15189:2012
Acusera 24∙7 is the only QC data management platform that incorporates the automatic calculation of Measurement Uncertainty (MU) as well as other performance metrics, including Total Error.
“The laboratory shall use quality control materials that react to the examining system in a manner as close as possible to patient samples”
– ISO 15189:2012
Acusera True Third Party Controls are fully commutable, behaving like a real patient sample, reducing the need to re-assign QC target values when the reagent batch is changed, reducing labour and costs.
Medical decision levels
“The laboratory should choose concentrations of control materials, wherever possible, especially at or near clinical decision values, which ensure the validity of decisions made”
“Laboratories with two or more analysers for examinations, should have a defined mechanism for comparison of results across analysers”
– ISO 15189:2012
Acusera 24∙7 is capable of combining multiple data sets on a single Levey-Jennings, Histogram of Performance Summary chart, enabling at-a-glance performance review and comparative performance assessment. A unique multi-instrument report is also available via our RIQAS EQA programme allowing performance of each instrument to be compared.
Third Party Control
“Use of independent third party control materials should be considered, either instead of, or in addition to, any control materials supplied by the reagent or instrument manufacturer”
– ISO 15189:2012
Acusera True Third Party Controlsare manufactured completely independently of and calibrators and assigned values through a pool of instruments across the world, making them true third party controls.
At a conference in Belgium in 2016, data, which highlighted the most common areas of non-conformance in laboratories, showed that nonconformities were most prevalent in sections 5.5 and 5.6 of ISO 15189. This data is visualised in fig. A below. Furthermore, a study by Munene et al. (2017) has had similar findings, as visualised in fig. B. The greatest number of nonconformities occur in the sections that are concerned with insufficient assay validation and quality of examination procedures. These studies specifically identified the lack of independent controls, QC not at clinically relevant levels, commutability issues, and a lack of interlaboratory comparison as major issues.
Randox Quality Control products are designed to target these areas, making it easier to conform to ISO 15189 standards.
CALA. The Advantages of Being an Accredited Laboratory. Canadian Association for Laboratory Accreditation. Retrieved from http://www.cala.ca/ilac_the_advantages_of_being.pdf
Munene, S., Songok, J., Munene, D., & Carter, J. (2017). Implementing a regional integrated laboratory proficiency testing scheme for peripheral health facilities in East Africa. Biochemia Medica, 110-113. http://dx.doi.org/10.11613/bm.2017.014
Peter, T., Rotz, P., Blair, D., Khine, A., Freeman, R., & Murtagh, M. (2010). Impact of Laboratory Accreditation on Patient Care and the Health System. American Journal Of Clinical Pathology, 134(4), 550-555. http://dx.doi.org/10.1309/ajcph1skq1hnwghf
Rohr, U., Binder, C., Dieterle, T., Giusti, F., Messina, C., & Toerien, E. et al. (2016). The Value of In Vitro Diagnostic Testing in Medical Practice: A Status Report. PLOS ONE, 11(3), e0149856. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0149856