Detecting Errors in your Test System
Without a high-quality interlaboratory program, your laboratory may not be aware of gradual or sudden changes in your test system that are often caused by events such as reagent or calibrator reformulations, standardization changes, or instrument software changes. An interlaboratory program can offer awareness of shifts and trends and help verify the reliability of laboratory testing.
Improving Outcomes on Proficiency Surveys
An interlaboratory program can also increase your confidence in proficiency surveys. If your laboratory compares well to other laboratories participating in an interlaboratory program, you are also likely to compare well to other laboratories participating in your proficiency testing program.
Some will argue that a proficiency testing program provides sufficient information to measure overall test system performance. This is simply not true.
- Proficiency surveys merely provide a snapshot in time and should not be used as a substitute for daily quality control with an interlaboratory program.
- Acceptable performance on the day of the proficiency testing does not guarantee testing reliability every day.
- Participation in an interlaboratory program is the best way to be confident in test system performance every day, especially with an interlaboratory program that offers an option to receive instant interlaboratory feedback on demand.
One Interlaboratory Program, Two Valuable Options
Bio-Rad is pleased to offer laboratories that use the Unity data management software system the ability to receive on-demand InstantQC™ reports in addition to standard monthly Unity interlaboratory reports. This allows laboratories to take advantage of the best of two worlds.
InstantQC permits you to compare your control results to other laboratories any time. It is particularly useful for troubleshooting problems with test system performance because of the rapid report turnaround times.
In contrast, submission for monthly Unity is required once per month to ensure that peer group sizes are maximized for regular, periodic review of your test systems. Monthly Unity reports are more comprehensive than InstantQC reports. Both report types are available on the QCNet website for your convenience.