The Benefits of Peer Group Data to your Troubleshooting Process
Drive for more accurate results in your laboratory
We’ve all been there, you’re in the middle of a run of patient tests when you are alerted to an out of control event, such as your analyser is reporting QC results 25% low to target. What do you do? In reality, we all know that the problem is unlikely to correct itself, especially if it’s a calibration or analyser issue. Human error is a potential factor, however all possible causes must be eliminated to proceed with patient testing.
What’s the solution?
ISO 15189:2012 recommends that a laboratory should “have a procedure to prevent patient results in the event of a quality control failure”. Implementing an interlaboratory data management program which features peer group reporting can help you meet this requirement and monitor the results you are producing. Such programs can help detect errors in the analytical phase of patient testing, through the automatic application of pre-programmed QC rules, thus alerting staff to failed results.
Why must Peer Groups be a feature?
A peer group is defined as a “Community in which most or all members have roughly the same characteristics…” (Businessdictionary.com, accessed 2017). In this instance the characteristics could refer to the; instrument, test method or QC material in use. As such peer group programmes could help you detect errors in your laboratory by comparing your results to those who are employing a similar method, instrument and QC to what you are using, i.e. comparing apples for apples. Therefore it is essential that the peer group data you require is available in real-time, to ensure you are accessing the most up-to-date data when reviewing your patient test results.
Take the example from the introduction. You’re in the middle of a run of patient tests when you are alerted to an out of control event, such as your analyser is reporting QC results 25% low to target. As part of your troubleshooting procedures, you are able to compare your results to the results of your peer group and note that this is an isolated incident. Consequently, you have eliminated a widespread problem with the QC, reagent or calibrator and narrowed down the root cause to one of the components in your test system. Thus saving you time in the troubleshooting process.
Benefits of Peer Group Comparison
There are a number of benefits to employing peer group comparison in your laboratory. Peer group data comparisons facilitate faster troubleshooting, helping you identify whether the problem you are seeing is unique to your laboratory, or if other laboratories are reporting the same issue. If other laboratories are reporting the same issue it is possible to conclude that there is a widespread problem with either the QC, reagent or calibrator. On the other hand, if it is not occurring within your peer group you will have to investigate further, reviewing your QC processes. As a result, you could resolve issues much quicker by eliminating either a supplier or laboratory issue. Furthermore, you can also eliminate the need for unnecessary repeat tests or instrument maintenance, saving both valuable time and money.
Other characteristics you should look out for
Whilst peer group comparison is a useful feature there are a number of other features you should consider when selecting the right interlaboratory data management program for you. These include;
- Automatic calculation of Measurement Uncertainty, Total Error and Sigma Metrics
- Multiple laboratory management on a single platform
- Accessing data anytime, anywhere via PC, laptop or tablet via a web-based platform
- All data charts you may require to assess whether any bias or imprecision issues are present
- Ability to combine data for multiple QC lots, analytes and instruments on a single Levey-Jennings or Histogram chart
- Automated data import via a direct connection to your LIMS
What can Randox offer?
At Randox we are passionate about quality control and believe in producing high-quality material that can streamline procedures for laboratories of all sizes and budgets through our Randox Quality Control brand. Acusera 24.7 Live Online is just one aspect of our extensive laboratory portfolio that has been designed to help you produce results you can trust. With Acusera 24.7 Live Online you can drive for more accurate results by monitoring and interpreting QC data online, anytime, anywhere. With access to an impressive range of features, including the automatic calculation of Measurement Uncertainty, Total Error and Sigma Metrics, Acusera 24.7 will ensure analytical quality.
The RX series analysers ensure that the on-board testing process is precise through many stages and therefore lead to accurate results in the laboratory. Our automated analysers go through an extensive washing system for cuvettes and includes acid, alkali and pure water wash steps. Liquid level sensor, crash, bubble and clot detection ensure that after the washing process is complete, whatever residue remaining has been completely removed from the cuvettes so that they are ready to be used again.
Randox understand the demands of the clinical chemistry laboratory and recognise the importance of maintaining a consistent workflow of high quality results. We pride ourselves in excellence of service. Through our global network, our team of trained engineers provide local service and support. There are 3 levels of service maintenance provisions to ensure a package to suit all laboratories; bronze, silver and gold packages.
Randox also offers technical support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via a free electronic service called Powerline; this service provides customers with instant access to instructions for use (IFU), and instrument specific application (ISA) documents for a comprehensive list of instruments. Each RX series analyser requires minimal maintenance, as little as 5 minutes daily, and between 1 and 2 yearly preventative maintenance checks depending on the workflow of the analyser.
70% of medical decisions are based on laboratory results, therefore it is imperative that accurate results are produced in the laboratory. These test results lead to key decisions for the treatment of patients, therefore it is essential for an accurate diagnosis of all patient samples. A misdiagnosis can be life threatening, or lead to incorrect treatment plans delaying the recovery of the patient, which in turn can lead to high compensation costs for Hospitals and Laboratories for the affected patients.
The RX series analysers ensure accurate test results with a stringent validation process of all Randox Reagents. The QC functionality provides automatic flagging of inaccurate results and testing errors therefore helping laboratories identify and resolve issues quickly, minimising the possibility of misdiagnosis.
Precision, reliability and accuracy are hugely important within a laboratory. The RX series analysers offer these in abundance. Randox can provide consolidation of testing with validated reagents and cost effective Quality Controls, ensuring that your laboratories testing results are precise, reliable and accurate.
If you are interested in finding out more and would like to speak with a Randox representative, please contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
A care centre in Ethiopia which looks after rescued street children has expressed its gratitude after thousands of pounds were raised by global diagnostics firm Randox, which will go towards supplying new furnishings for the centre and employing additional staff.
Almost £4,500 was donated in the company‘s annual charity raffle which will go towards improving facilities at the Tesfa Manoriya Bota Centre which is run by the Northern Ireland charity Hope 365. It was established 18 months ago by Chief Executive, Michael Holmes who has an extensive background working with charity organizations. Before establishing Hope365 Michael spent the last eight years working in Ethiopia to help improve the life of children who were left homeless.
The ‘hope home’, as it’s known locally, offers a new start for street children in Ethiopia who have been living in squalid, unsanitary, dangerous and unhealthy conditions. The Randox raffle donation will fund new furnishings for the centre and support the employment of specially trained staff, counselors and educational experts to develop individual care plans for each child, helping them to look forward to a bright future.
Randox Founder and Managing Director, Dr Peter FitzGerald said;
“We hold an annual raffle every year and donate the proceeds to charity. This year we decided to pick a local charity, Hope 365, which is near our headquarters in Crumlin. When we heard about the great work that Hope 365 were doing for children in Ethiopia we decided that the money would go a long way to improving their lives and wellbeing. The Tesfa Manoriya Bota Centre is really a life-changing place for Street Kids that will not only give them the opportuntiy to learn and develop but give them a whole new lease of life and security for the future. We were thrilled that all our staff were able to raise so much to support this worthy charity.”
Hope 365 Chief Executive, Michael Holmes said;
“This funding will make a huge difference in the lives of the children we work with, many of whom don’t even know what age they are when we meet them. Their parents have died due to either illness or poverty and they are left homeless, sleeping in doorways and drains, with no one to take care of them or protect them. No human being deserves to live like this, especially not a child. Though the charity is only in its infancy, every donation goes directly to the Hope Home and we ultimately aim to provide a home for 26 children in the future at the Hope Home. We want to help them reach their full potential and educational ambitions and where possible, reunite them with their extended family.”
If you would like to get involved with charity fundraising in 2017, please share your ideas with us by emailing email@example.com.
For the first time in the Grand National’s history a new trophy will be designed every year during the sponsorship with the global diagnostics company Randox Health. The first of the five new trophies will be unveiled at the highly anticipated Weights Evening Reception on Tuesday 14th February.
Today marks the final step of the 2017 trophy design, with its hallmarking at the prestigious Goldsmiths’ Company Assay Office, in the City of London, which has been hallmarking precious metals for over 700 years. This concluding stage in the design of the trophy has enabled its sponsor to release to the public for the first time some tantalising teaser pictures of what will be presented to the 2017 Randox Health Grand National winner.
In advance of the annual Weights Reception, over the next 14 days a series of images from the trophy will be released before the grand unveiling at the Victoria and Albert in London.
Dr. Peter FitzGerald, Founder and Managing Director of Randox Health, commented;
“Given that the Randox Health Grand National is such an iconic event it is fitting that each winner will receive an inimitable trophy; their own unique piece of history. To win this event, given the demanding nature of the course and the quality of the competition, requires preparation, stamina, skill and teamwork of the very highest standard. There is no other race in the world like this and we want to ensure the winner’s trophy, which will change each year, reflects the status of the achievement.”
The trophy has been created at workshops at the magnificent Burghley House in Stamford by Silversmith Shannon O’Neill, who described the silver 2017 trophy as an ornate work of art, laced with images depicting the speed, agility and excitement of jump racing, and decorated with a red stone.
“I’m incredibly honoured to have been given the opportunity to design and create a piece of art as important as the trophy for the Randox Health Grand National. Meeting the Randox requirement has been an exciting challenge – the brief was ambitious and we’re all delighted with the final outcome. That this is a unique piece makes it even more special. I look forward to its unveil in February and additionally to seeing the next four trophy designs over the coming years.”
Additionally, for the first time in history, each member of the winning team, made up of owner, trainer, jockey and groom will receive their own version of the trophy, a decision about which Ed Chamberlin, Lead Racing Presenter for ITV is delighted;
“Nothing comes close to the immense amount of passion, dedication, and teamwork that goes in to preparing for these big races, and for the biggest race of all, the Randox Health Grand National. From the stable staff in the yard to the punter at the bookies, the jockey training for the race of his life to the ground staff tending to the racecourse and the fences, in racing everyone has a very important role to play, whether that’s in front of the camera or behind the scenes. So I’m thrilled that Randox Health is paying tribute to the fact that the contributions of each member of the winning team are equally important.”
“For ITV it’s exciting to have an ambitious and innovative partner in the form of Randox Health for the world’s greatest race. Everything we do as racing broadcaster is about making the sport much more accessible and engaging with the public, and the revamping of the Randox Health Grand National trophy with this fun, teasing roll-out is a perfect launch for this.”
For more information about Randox Health please contact Nicola McHugh or Amy McIlwaine in the Randox PR team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 028 9442 2413
Reviewing QC data can be an extremely time consuming and costly process. With manual statistical calculation laboratories risk missing or ignoring significant trends in QC data which could potentially put patients at risk. So how does a laboratory combat this? Simple; participate in an interlaboratory data management program that provides a quick, effective, accurate and detailed analysis of QC results. The answer to this program is Acusera 24•7 Live Online.
Acusera 24•7 Live Online
With the launch of Acusera 24•7 Live Online version 2.0, QC data review is now faster and simpler than ever before. Our program aims to save the laboratory precious time and money by instantly flagging any QC failures, ultimately ensuring accurate test system performance.
Designed to complement and be used primarily with our Acusera range of true third party controls, Acusera 24•7 Live Online has two primary functions; 1) management and interpretation of IQC data and 2) rapid and effective troubleshooting of QC failures via access to instantly updated worldwide peer group statistics.
These two functions have one common goal – being an effective tool for evaluating laboratory performance. With the launch of version 2.0 the software boasts even more functionality than before, ensuring any laboratory employing Randox Quality Control coupled with Acusera 24•7 Live Online will see benefits from the get-go.
Why should you use Acusera 24•7 Live Online?
Using Acusera 24•7 to help speed up the review process in your laboratory can reap dividends. The program has been designed for this specific reason and the features are geared towards helping the laboratory review, interpret, and analyse QC data quickly, effectively and accurately. One such example of this is the unique dashboard function which instantly flags any alerted or rejected results from the past 7 days, significantly reducing the time spent analysing reports and charts whilst simultaneously allowing any corrective action to be taken immediately with minimum disruption to the lab’s output.
Previously, peer group statistics would have been updated every 24 hours with Acusera 24•7 Live Online version 1.6, however, with the new release, peer data is about to get a unique upgrade. Gone are the days when you will have to wait 24 hours to get updated stats – Acusera 24•7 Live Online now has the ability to generate peer data live in real-time, thereby enhancing the laboratory’s troubleshooting capabilities and allowing labs to compare their data with others around the globe. What’s more there is no deadline for submission of results meaning labs can get a true reflection of performance at any time. Ultimately, laboratories will be able to easily identify if an issue is unique to them or a widespread issue amongst their peers. Such information will allow them establish a root cause quicker and spend less time troubleshooting.
The capacity to generate interactive charts and comprehensive reports automatically is a feature included in Acusera 24•7 that will aid quick review of QC data. Reports can be generated for a user-defined date range and provide a wealth of information. Reports include statistical analysis, statistical metrics, measurement uncertainty, exception and audit trail reports. Reports coupled with Levey-Jennings, Histogram and Performance Summary charts enable rapid and stress-free performance monitoring. The ability to add multiple instruments, QC lots and analytes to a single chart allows for comparative performance assessment and immediate identification of any trends.
We must not forget that Acusera 24•7 Live Online has already had a modernisation in the past few months. In November 2016 we announced the automatic calculation of Measurement of Uncertainty, Total Error and Sigma Metrics. These new features are also included in the version 2.0 launch of our Live Online program.
Our software is highly flexible with custom configurations of performance limits, multi-rules and target values designed to meet and exceed every laboratory’s needs.
With the ability to identify trends, system errors, minimise false rejections and bridge the gap between IQC and EQA, there really is no reason to look elsewhere for your analytical performance of QC.
For more information on Acusera 24•7 Live Online or our Acusera third party controls, click here.
With the January blues in full force we decided to have a look back over all the wonderful events that Randox staff took part in during 2016. Together Randox staff rallied together to raise money for numerous events and charities making a huge difference to the lives of others.
Back in April Rachel Walls, our technical support specialist in Ardmore initiated a bake sale on behalf of her sister, Ursula McKenna who ran both the Dublin Marathon and Manchester half Marathon in aid of Cystic Fibrosis Trust. The bake sale was a roaring success and Randox staff enjoyed a selection of scrumptious buns raising a total of £308 that went towards Ursula’s total fundraising amount of £3000.
“Our cousin suffers from Cystic Fibrosis, and running a few marathons is easy compared to what he has to deal with on a daily basis.”
Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic condition caused by a faulty gene that controls the movement of salt and water across the cell wall. This causes mucus to build up in the lungs and digestive tract, causing problems with breathing and digestion. An estimated 1 in 2,500 babies born in the UK have Cystic Fibrosis, with more than 2.5 million people in the UK carrying the faulty gene. Currently there is no cure for Cystic Fibrosis, however there are treatments to help manage the symptoms. The Cystic Fibrosis Trust helps suffers by funding cutting-edge research, driving up standards of care and supporting people with the condition and their loved ones every step of the way.
May was the month that Randox staff and the Randox Biosciences department joined together to help raise awareness of stroke by wearing purple clothes to work.
Stoke is a brain attack that occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. Blood carries essential nutrients and oxygen to the brain so without blood your brain cells can be damaged or die.
This damage can have different effects, depending on where it happens in your brain. A stroke can affect the way your body works as well as how you think, feel and communicate. The Stroke Association have dedicated the month of May to raising awareness and increasing the public’s knowledge of this condition.
In July Gary Laverty, one of our software developers who works in our Laurelbank site took a beating when he allowed Randox staff to throw water balloons at him in order to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. This charity aims to improve the lives of everyone who is diagnosed with cancer. Their aim is to make life a little brighter and ensure that no one faces this horrible disease alone. They are on hand to offer assistance right from the beginning of a diagnosis, through treatment and beyond, including support to the wider family circle.
Gary raised a total of £409.38 on the day which was presented to Margaret Young from Macmillan Cancer Support at Randox headquarters in Crumlin.
Gary Laverty said,
“When my father was ill last year, Macmillan offered tremendous support to both him and my family. Their commitment to helping cancer patients is incredible, really life-changing. I debated a few fundraising ideas but thought that the water balloon idea was something unusual so I hoped people would see it as a really fun event. The fundraiser went really well and I am delighted at the amount we raised for such an amazing charity! My colleagues got really involved and it was a really fun event, thankfully it wasn’t too cold on the day!”
In the months leading up to Christmas Randox Teoranta in Dungloe our team of scientists engineers and software developers organised a Christmas shoebox appeal in conjunction with Team Hope, a charity based in Ireland, who for the past 18 years have delivered Christmas shoebox gifts to over three million children in some of the remotest and poorest parts of the world. Randox Teoranta filled a total of 54 boxes with items ranging from school essentials, clothes, hats, scarves gloves and socks and of course extra special gifts for Christmas including games toys, sweets and even musical instruments.
Claire Newbon, Manufacturing Operative said,
“Within the team here at Randox Teoranta we are all very fortunate to have great jobs, loving families and a roof over our heads. But we are very aware that there are adults and children in other parts of the world who aren’t so lucky, through no fault of their own.
“At the most joyful time of the year, the Teoranta team wanted to be able to share the magic of Christmas with those children who would otherwise not get any presents.”
In the week leading up to Christmas Randox staff organised a Christmas jumper day with donations going towards Save the Children and a Christmas raffle on behalf of Hope 365. £640.25 was raised for Save the Children, and £4464.00 was raised for Hope 365, which would go towards furnishing “Hope Homes” in Ethiopia so that the children will have somewhere peaceful to sleep at night.
The Christmas raffle took place on 23rd December during which all staff from each site came together to see if they were lucky enough to win any of the prizes that were on offer. Prizes included a 55inch TV, M&S and Amazon vouchers, Christmas hampers, an IPad Air 2 and an extra day’s annual leave.
Randox Teoranta in Donegal also held their own Christmas Raffle and Coffee Morning with all proceeds going towards the local hospital in Dungloe. A total of €740 was raised for the hospital which was greatly appreciated.
Thank you for your generous donations throughout the year, we hope that we can continue to support charities and events throughout 2017.
If you would like to further support Hope 365 they are actively seeking 52 people to take part in a marathon or part of a marathon this year, to compliment a person who is running 52 marathons in one year for the charity. There is also a football academy, endorsed by Paddy McNair, which is taking place in July in Ethopia if you would like to get involved with this. For further information, please contact Internal Communications.
If you would like to get involved with charity fundraising in 2017, please share your ideas with us by emailing email@example.com.
Calls for more accurate diagnosis of people at risk of developing Type-2 diabetes have been supported by Randox, following a warning raised by an Oxford University study which looked into efforts to tackle the worsening epidemic of the condition.
The study, which was published in the British Medical Journal, examined results from the NHS’s programme which involves a screening test for pre-diabetes. The authors determined that the UK’s National Diabetes Prevention Programme is unlikely to have much impact because the blood tests used were inaccurate at detecting pre-diabetes, though these are currently the only ones available to doctors and patients. The study argues that if the screening is inaccurate then people will either be falsely reassured or receive incorrect diagnoses, which will not help the worldwide challenge to reduce people at risk of developing diabetes that continues to increase across the world.
It is estimated that Type-2 diabetes causes 22,000 early deaths every year in England alone. Across the UK over 3m people currently have the condition though experts say this will increase to 5m by 2025.
With current treatment taking up almost 9% of the annual NHS budget – roughly £8.8bn a year – the implications for future healthcare budgets are clear if this dangerous trend persists.
Global reagents Manger Susan Hammond said,
“Although we wholly back the NHS’s belief that positive lifestyle changes make crucial differences in people’s health and lives, we also believe that unless earlier and more accurate diagnostic screening is employed on a twin-track of treatment, this epidemic will continue to worsen. We welcome that this study highlights the fact that clinician’s s are currently limited in what they can use to tackle the threat posed by diabetes. There are emerging biomarkers they could be given access to, such as Adiponectin and determining a person’s risk of Metabolic Syndrome.”
Assessing Adiponectin levels allows doctors to calculate the amount of visceral fat stored around a patient’s organs. This deep fat, which is not visible to the naked eye, is linked to health problems including Type-2 diabetes. High levels of adiponectin equate to low levels of visceral fat which can be combated by improving your diet, exercise habits and even stress levels. Given that 70% of Type-2 diabetes can be prevented by lifestyle changes, there is strong correlation that by detecting low levels of Adiponectin and taking corrective and preventive action, it could results in a decrease in the numbers of people who develop the life altering condition.
In addition to a test for the Adiponectin biomarker, Randox Biosciences have created a Metabolic Syndrome Array that measures 12 markers associated with metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease. Metabolic Syndrome is a is a group of cardiovascular risk factors that affects over 20% of adults and results in a person being three times more likely to have a stroke or heart attack, and five times more likely to develop diabetes.
Mrs Hammond concluded,
“We would ultimately like to see all medical professionals who are at the forefront of patient care armed with the most accurate diagnostic tools available. Updating traditional practice may not be easy but we believe it is imperative to do so, if we are to effectively challenge this global epidemic.”
Randox remains focused on providing early diagnoses and preventing illnesses by providing innovative diagnostics tests that will continue to revolutionise the healthcare landscape.
Being part of a global company offers endless opportunities including career growth, international travel and the chance to relocate somewhere new and exciting, or to take your job back home!
Travis Lai, one of our business development executives for Randox Quality Control took the opportunity to relocate from London to Malaysia in order to be closer to his family back in December 2015! Read our Q&A below to find out what it’s like to work for Randox and how Travis enjoys being closer to his family and friends.
Hi Travis, can you tell us a little bit about your background working for Randox?
I have been with Randox now for nearly three years working as a business development executive for Randox Quality Control. As part of my role I am constantly developing new sales leads, developing relationships with current and new customers, in charge of distributor management and planning and overseeing new marketing initiatives which all aim to grow the Quality Control division at Randox.
How did you find working in the London?
When I first started working for Randox I was based in the London Wall office. I had been to London a few times before I joined Randox and already knew a few people who were living in London which was nice. London is a very vibrant and multi-cultural city with lots to do and see. It was a big change for me in the beginning as it took me a while to get used to the food and of course the weather! I made sure to buy a raincoat during my first week!
What made you decide to relocate home to Malaysia?
I worked in London from April 2014 to Dec 2015 before I took the opportunity to return home to Malaysia due to a family concern. I had been thinking about it for a while and when the opportunity came Randox approved my application for relocation. I was very pleased that I was given this unique opportunity as it’s quite rare that employees are able to transfer from London to as far as Asia for a job role. But that’s one of the perks working in a global organisation, you get to experience things that you wouldn’t get the opportunity to do so elsewhere– I am extremely grateful that I got the opportunity to move back home for work.
Were you able to continue to work in the same job role once you moved home?
Yes, I was able to continue to work as a business development executive for Randox Quality Control which is great, the only thing that changed was my location.
What do you enjoy the most about being home in Malaysia?
I love being closer to my family and friends here at home, I think that’s probably the best thing for me I missed them a lot when I was living in London. It’s also great to get back to the sunny weather, Malaysia is quite warm all year around so there isn’t much of a need for a raincoat over here and I also love the food. My favourite dish is called Nasi lemak, it is a Malay fragrant rice dish cooked in coconut milk and considered the national dish. In terms of work, it’s useful that I am closer to the end users and distributors. This really comes in handy when I need to get in touch with distributors urgently and I don’t have to worry about time differences.
If you are interested in joining our global team make sure that you check out Randox careers website to see what new opportunities we have for you.