Drink and Drug Drive Limits UK and Ireland
As part of Randox Testing Services‘ ongoing efforts to raise awareness around issues related to drugs and alcohol we will be running a drink and drug drive campaign in the first two weeks of December. This campaign will detail the different drink and drug drive limits across the UK and Ireland and highlight how these limits differ from border to border.
Drink Drive Limits UK & Ireland
As can be seen in the table below, the drink drive limits across England, Wales and Northern Ireland are the same whereas Scotland has a lower limit. In December 2014 the limit was reduced in order to bring Scotland in line with most other European countries. The drink drive limit in the Republic of Ireland is the same as Scotland.
|Rest of UK||35µg||80mg||107mg|
*Value is volume of Alcohol per 100ml of Sample
The limits above apply to the general public, however across Ireland lower limits have been set for professional drivers:
*Value is volume of Alcohol per 100ml of Sample
In the UK the Railways Transportation Safety Bill was passed introducing these lower limits for HGV drivers, pilots, train drivers etc. This bill is active in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Ireland replicated the UK by introducing this in Ireland’s Road Traffic Act 2010. Scotland currently don’t have regulations in place so the drink drive limits are the same regardless of occupation.
Drug Drive Limits UK & Ireland
Section 5A Road Traffic Act was passed in the UK on 2nd March 2015 which requires only the presence of drugs above a specified limit can provoke criminal proceedings against a driver. Roadside swab tests are currently being utilised across England, Wales and the Republic of Ireland.
Roadside tests are used to detect the presence of four different types of drugs, the main two being cannabis and cocaine. The roadside tests only show a positive or negative reading that identifies traces of these drugs in the users system. If traces are shown, a blood sample is taken to identify the limit of the substance in a person.
If a roadside test doesn’t pick up traces of a substance an arrest can still be made if police have strong concerns that a driver may be under the influence of a substance they cannot detect at roadside. A blood sample is then taken for a more in-depth analysis to see if there are any drugs in the drivers system. The Scottish Government won’t have roadside testing put in place until 2019. It is still illegal to drive under the influence of drugs in Scotland and arrests can still be made.
Unlike alcohol, there are no separate drug drive limits for the general public and professional drivers:
|Drug Driving Limits|
|England and Wales||2µg||10µg||5µg|
*Values are amount of substance per 1 litre of blood
The Scottish Government confirmed drug-driving limits and roadside testing will be introduced in Scotland in 2019. Currently in Scotland and Northern Ireland it is illegal to drive if impaired by drugs and when police suspect a motorist of drug-driving, they carry out a field impairment test.
This method is still used in the UK and Ireland for drivers under the influence of other drugs not picked up in a swab test. If the individual fails this they can be arrested and taken for a doctor’s examination to see if the person is impaired to the extent that they are unfit to drive. Then a blood sample is taken to prove if these drugs are in their system.
For more information on these limits follow us on Twitter @RandoxTesting to avail of the information and resources we will be sharing over the first 2 weeks in December.
You can also access our download wall which includes a range of educational posters, brochures and resources by visiting http://www.randoxtestingservices.com/downloads/
About Randox Testing Services
At Randox Testing Services we offer complete drug and alcohol testing solutions to a wide range of industries across the globe. We work with companies to help create and implement effective workplace testing policies that suit their needs and budget.
To support our customers our additional services include training and education courses as well as policy reviews and consultancy. Our experts are at hand to discuss any testing requirements you may have. To get in touch email firstname.lastname@example.org today.
Randox Health are today pleased to announce that in early March, the 2018 Randox Health Grand National Trophy will be coming to schools across Northern Ireland. This is the second year of the trophy tour, to mark Randox Health’s sponsorship of the world-renowned steeplechase.
At Randox, our ambition is to continually improve people’s health around the world. That is why we took on the sponsorship of this famous event, to spread our message about the importance of preventive healthcare. As the first healthcare company to be involved with the sport, we are credited with bringing a very positive era to it.
This year we are offering a number of schools in Northern Ireland the opportunity to take part in a two – three-hour trophy-making masterclass, with the designer of both the 2017 and 2018 trophies – the silversmith Shannon O’Neill.
Shannon will guide a class of students through the process of designing and constructing a trophy, albeit in less-rare materials than the ones used in the actual trophy! We will again be able to bring the trophy to the schools for pupils to see and hopefully be inspired.
We will provide all necessary equipment, and aim for each pupil to have a paper-version of their trophy to take home. The pupils will have the chance to ask Shannon questions about working on the trophy and find out about the skills involved in being a silversmith.
In order to ensure the schools who would most welcome this unique opportunity can participate, please contact us by the 26th January 2018 to take part in our schools tour with the Randox Health Grand National Trophy 2018. The tour will take place over three days, with final dates being agreed shortly; we hope to be able to include every school that is interested!
We look forward to hearing from you.
To apply, please contact our Public Relations team at email@example.com or 028 9442 2413
On Wednesday 15th November, Randox hosted a site visit at its state-of-the-art Randox Science Park in Antrim for Open University (OU) students who are studying a range of subjects including Business, Science, Engineering and Software Development.
Randox is a global leader in healthcare diagnostics, pioneering innovative technologies with major focus in research and development. Their products and services are used in hospitals, clinical, research and molecular laboratories, food testing, forensic toxicology, life sciences, and veterinary laboratories worldwide.
The visit allowed the students the opportunity to experience real life lab experiments in the Research and Development department and the Design Engineering department. They also had the opportunity to tour the different IT departments and see how the operations of a large company work.
Sarah Nicol who is studying for a BSc (Honours) in Computing and IT said:
“It was interesting to hear about the full scope of work taking place within the Randox Science Park and the level of investment confirms that there is a bright future here as an employee. The training and opportunities available were much wider than I had realised.”
Joanne King who is studying for a BSc (Honours) in Health Sciences said:
“I found the visit interesting and informative. I enjoyed meeting and hearing from the current Open University students and what they were getting involved with during their placements at Randox. I certainly found the experience motivating to complete my course as opportunities may be possible with Randox.”
The students were then able to hear from two OU students who are currently on a placement with Randox: Jenny Hope who is studying BSc (Hons) in Health Sciences and Aurelija Gainaite who is studying BSc (Hons) in Natural Sciences. They are both on a one-year placement with Randox and shared with the students the importance of gaining relevant work experience in a chosen field and the potential opportunities it can lead to.
Jolene Carey, Human Resource Officer from Randox said:
“We were delighted to host The Open University students at Randox – this was a great opportunity for students to gain a valuable insight into the range of different departments within the company and to experience how they work together. We were delighted that OU students Jenny and Aurelija were able to talk directly to their fellow students and explain the benefits of gaining a placement opportunity. We look forward to continuing to develop our relationship with The Open University.”
For further information, please contact our Randox PR team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning 028 9442 2413
Global health diagnostics provider Randox has launched the third year of its innovative APEX Programme. The APEX Programme is a unique career package which offers first year students a paid 8-week summer work experience between first and second year, a paid placement year in their third year of study and, finally, a graduate job if they complete their degree with a 2:1 or above.
There are many different disciplines which are critical for Randox’s global operations, from pioneering research and development scientists to business strategists, savvy marketing teams to top-level engineering departments.
The APEX programme is open to all students currently studying biological sciences but also those studying business, marketing, maths, physics, graphic design, computer science and any form of engineering.
The APEX Programme is like no other in the UK and Randox were pleased to recruit 20 first-year students last year after a high number of applications. The difficulty for students trying to find work experience and a coveted graduate position has been highlighted in recent years. In 2016, official UK government figures reported that one-in-three young graduates were working in low-skilled jobs, being unable to find work which matched their skills. In the same year there was a 2.2% drop in the number of 21 to 30-year-old graduates in skilled worked compared with the year earlier.
The APEX Programme application process is as unique as the programme itself. No CVs or lengthy application forms needed – just submit a 15 second video on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and 140 character cover note telling us why you are the one for Randox, including hashtags #IAmTheOneQUB or #IAmTheOneUU, depending on your university. It really is that simple! Submit your video from 27th November to 8th December 2017 to be in the running to join the Randox team.
Graduates often face tough competition for jobs in their field of study once they leave university. It’s a well-known cycle for budding young professionals ready to enter their first graduate job – how can I gain the vital experience needed when many roles cite a year or more work experience as an essential requirement?
Linda Magee, Randox Human Resources Manager, says initiatives like the Randox APEX Programme are essential.
“Graduates leave university and enter a tough environment, where expectations are high and competition is fierce. The ones who do best are those who can get the necessary real-life work experience in their area of expertise.
“Randox believes in giving young people a chance to make their mark by taking on real responsibilities right from the start. Undergraduates will work side-by-side with our top teams in science research, manufacturing, engineering, business, marketing and many other disciplines who are working on ground-breaking diagnostic innovations and campaigns which will make an impact globally.
“As a result, the APEX programme gives our recruits incredible confidence in their abilities. It’s also very important to us that the programme offers paid placements which last for the duration of their degree, so they are able to focus on their studies while working towards a graduate position with a world-leading company after graduation.”
Lee Armstrong, who is studying chemistry at Ulster University, completed his first placement with the APEX Programme in summer 2016 and is now back completing his placement year in the clinical chemistry team. He said:
“I was attracted to the APEX Programme because it was completely different from any other company’s placement – nowhere else do you get a summer placement, a year placement and then a job after graduating if I achieve a 2:1.
“I am currently on my one-year placement, which has allowed me to gain experience with real-life projects. I’m not treated like a student at all – I’m treated like another scientist in the team and I get to work on real projects.
“I would recommend students to apply for the APEX Programme because you gain invaluable experience throughout your degree, there’s the possibility of a job in your field at the end of it – and the application video is much easier than labouring over a CV!”
In 2015, 5% of the world’s population received a diagnosis using a Randox product. It is a world-leading diagnostics company which is developing state-of-the-art facilities at the Science Park in Antrim. It has 1400 employees and operates in 145 countries.
More information about the APEX Programme can be found at http://iamtheone.randox.com
What sets the Evidence Series apart from its competitors is its flexibility across the range of immunoassay analysers. No other range of analysers has the capability in terms of throughput in comparison to the Evidence Series. With this established, we are delighted to introduce the latest in the Evidence Series range, the Evidence Evolution.
Join the Evolution
We believe that the Evidence Evolution is the world’s most advanced immunoassay analyser. The Evidence Evolution is the most versatile analyser Randox has ever produced. By utilising the same multiplex technology as the other Evidence Series analysers, the Evidence Evolution can process up to 44 results from a single sample, with a maximum throughput of up to 2640 tests per hour. With such a high volume of potential throughput, you may think that reporting time will be compromised, that is simply not the case. The Evidence Evolution can produce the first set of results in less than 36 minutes, with one sample of up to 44 results reported every minute after. The speed of reporting time distinguishes the Evidence Evolution from its competitors, and allows the analyser to further display its capabilities.
By utilising patented Biochip Array Technology, the Evidence Evolution offers batch analysis, true random access and STAT testing capabilities. These, combined with retrospective testing, allows the user to build a more in-depth patient profile.
With such swift reporting times, the Evidence Evolution can boast of a true walkaway time of 2 hours, in a laboratory setting, this can be vital. With multiple daily tasks to be completed, time is of the essence, and the Evidence Evolution has been designed to lessen the workload of laboratory staff. By being able to offer a combination of continuous sample and reagent loading, plus automated on-board sample dilution, the Evidence Evolution will have a positive impact in busy laboratories.
A fast reporting time and high throughput capabilities is just the tip of what the Evidence Evolution can offer. The analyser has the capability to test across multiple matrices, allowing for more flexibility in sampling. It also comes equipped with state of the art intuitive software and advanced precision bio-drive robotics, meaning the Evidence Evolution is an analyser that has been designed and developed to meet the needs of a modern, high throughput laboratory, by a company that has a deep understanding of laboratory needs.
About the Randox Evidence Series
The Evidence Series is set to revolutionise diagnostic testing forever. Offering unrivalled capabilities across all analysers, we truly believe that the Evidence Series range of immunoassay analysers can meet your diagnostic testing capabilities.
RTS, the whistle-blower which exposed alleged data manipulation in the forensics industry, would like to highlight to our customers and clients that there is no connection between it and the now-defunct Trimega Laboratories.
Trimega went into administration in April 2014. The administrators were KPMG.
RTS purchased some laboratory equipment from KPMG and moved onto the vacant laboratory premises in Manchester. RTS did not take-over Trimega’s business or order book. In contrast to Trimega which was wholly engaged in testing for family law, RTS was significantly engaged in criminal law, only taking on a minimal number of family law cases.
A small number of former Trimega staff were employed by RTS. Two of these former Trimega workers were dismissed by RTS after the alleged data manipulation was uncovered and reported.
Since acting as whistle-blower, RTS has fully supported the police investigation. At the NPCC media briefing on November 21st 2017, the NPCC publicly acknowledged this support and said RTS was “reputable, professional and responsible.”
The authorities have concluded the prioritising of all RTS cases for re-testing, including forensic and family law, and the process is underway. RTS is managing this at appropriately accredited external laboratories and is covering the necessary costs. To date all priority one and two re-testing not resulted in any criminal case being overturned. All affected parties have been kept informed of the process.
On November 21st 2017, the UK Government revealed that an official investigation into alleged data manipulation at Trimega between 2010 – 2014 was underway.
RTS cannot comment on the scale or timetable for re-testing of family law results provided by Trimega. The government has requested that the public self-report if Trimega was involved in their case as poor record-keeping by the laboratory means the number of Trimega customers and identities may never be known.
RTS has no responsibility for any alleged data manipulation which occurred at Trimega.
Rory McCloskey (21) from Antrim was a gold medal winner at the UK National finals in Birmingham. He was competing with over 500 apprentices, exponents of 55 disciplines – as diverse as Aircraft Maintenance to 3D Game Design, Cabinet Making, Plumbing to Beauty Therapy and Cyber Security.
Rory was recognised for his expertise in Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Milling which involves programming, setting and running a modern CNC milling machine to accurately produce a component in a given timeframe.
His journey to the national finals started earlier this year with local College competitions. From here, he progressed through the regional heats and national semi-finals where he finished in the top six in the UK to qualify for the National Worldskills UK 2017 finals which were held in Birmingham from 16 – 18 November.
Rory is a Higher Level Apprentice and works in the engineering department of Randox Laboratories. As a Foundation Degree student at the College’s Ballymena campus, he was trained on state-of-the-art CNC engineering machinery and taught how to program and operate machines such as Mazek, DMG Mori and Doonson, equipment used in modern manufacturing companies throughout Northern Ireland. The College provides education and training in this technology to a wide range of companies, including Ryobi Aluminium Cating, Linamar Montupet, Hutchinson Engineering, Randox Laboratories, McAuley Engineering.
Congratulating Rory on his success, Professor Terri Scott, Chief Executive of Northern Regional College said:
“The award is a great credit to Rory and all the engineering staff at the College and is just reward for all Rory’s hard work and dedication.
“The College has a proud and prestigious tradition of education and training in the field of engineering and I am delighted to see that our provision continues to deliver a consistently high standard.”
Dr Peter FitzGerald, Founder and Managing Director of Randox Laboratories, commented;
“We are incredibly proud of Rory and what he has achieved at the National Worldskills UK 2017 finals. Our apprentices from both the Northern and Southern Regional College are such talented individuals and so we are delighted to be able to offer them the opportunity to carry out ground-breaking research and development with us as they grow and develop in their careers.
“And the apprenticeship scheme is highly valued by the company – just as our students benefit from the time they spend with us, so too do we as a modern and innovative healthcare firm benefit from the fresh perspectives and forward-thinking ideas these students bring to Randox.
“Passionate and hard-working people like Rory make Randox what it is today. We’re extremely grateful for his contributions to the engineering team here and equally proud of his achievements. Congratulations Rory.”
Northern Regional College was well represented at the National Worldskills UK finals. Rory was one of seven students from the College’s Ballymena, Coleraine and Newtownabbey campuses to qualify for the final stage of the competition.
The other College finalists were: Dean Boyle, who was rewarded a bronze medal in CNC Milling; Matthew McLaughlin, who was highly commended in Graphic Design; Ryan Moon and Richard Woods (Mechatronics); James McCaughey (IT Software); Patrick McCloskey (Carpentry).
For further information about Rory’s award or to find our more about our apprenticeship programme please email email@example.com
- RTS became a whistle-blower when it uncovered evidence of data manipulation in its laboratory and immediately alerted the authorities
- Samples themselves were not affected
- RTS was founded in 2014 and employed staff from the Forensic Science Service and elsewhere in the industry
- Industry practices were introduced into RTS and were accredited by the UK’s accreditation authority UKAS
- RTS is supporting the police investigation into the issue and as part of that is managing and financing the retesting process at external laboratories
- Initial results from re-testing have had no impact on crime cases such as homicide, sexual offences or violence
- Less than 10% of re-tests resulted in drug driving cases being discontinued
- A Parliamentary written statement today highlights how the same manipulation may also have occurred at Trimega Laboratories Ltd., which may affect child protection and family court cases.
- RTS is well-advanced in developing a revolutionary fool-proof testing system based around multiple technological advances by RTS
- RTS is not connected to Trimega Laboratories. Trimega went into administration in early 2014. After this date, RTS purchased pieces of laboratory equipment from the administrators KPMG and moved into the premises. RTS did not take over Trimega business.
In early 2017, the forensic testing company RTS became a whistle-blower when it exposed evidence of alleged data manipulation. Almost one year on, it remains committed to ensuring the police investigation will succeed in bringing those responsible to justice and protecting the criminal justice system.
When RTS was founded in 2014 it employed staff from the former Forensic Sciences Service and elsewhere in the industry. It discovered, through an internal investigation, evidence of alleged improper practice and brought it to an end by immediately alerting the authorities. A Parliamentary written statement has today highlighted how the same manipulation may have occurred – but crucially went unreported – in a now-defunct laboratory called Trimega Laboratories Ltd, between 2010 and 2014.
The alleged manipulation in RTS involved changing data in testing methods which had been accredited by the UK agency UKAS. The actual samples were not affected which has enabled re-testing, and there is no evidence to suggest that the core purpose of the manipulation was intended to create positive or negative results in any specific tests.
Throughout the ten-month investigation, RTS has worked alongside the police and appropriate authorities to help resolve the issue. It is currently managing the process and covering the costs of re-testing samples at appropriately accredited external laboratories.
Initial re-testing results have had no impact on crime cases such as homicide, sexual offences or violence. Less than 10% of re-tests resulted in drug driving cases being discontinued. The vast majority of these have been because of results consistent with degradation of the original sample resulting in a lower result, or due to insufficient sample being available to enable a re-test. Two road deaths have been referred to the Court of Appeal following the retest.
Two former employees – who had worked at other forensics laboratories before joining RTS – remain on police bail. The investigation is being led by Greater Manchester Police.
RTS Toxicology manager Dr Mark Piper said:
“We have acted as whistle-blower to ensure the integrity of the criminal justice system. We will continue to work with Greater Manchester Police and the appropriate authorities in the investigation. We will do all that we can to ensure this situation is resolved and deeply regret the distress that has been caused.
“We are now well-advanced in developing a fool-proof testing system which would enhance the security of our operations in the future, to provide the necessary level of confidence.”
For further information please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high.
If you have diabetes, your body is unable to break down glucose into energy. This is because there’s either not enough insulin to move the glucose, or the insulin produced doesn’t work properly  which can lead to serious health complications.
The RX series range of analysers have one of the largest test menus available on the market which includes an extensive diabetes testing panel. Tests within the RX series diabetes panel allow for Diagnosis, Monitoring and Risk Assessment of Diabetes.
An adiponectin test system is a device intended for the quantitative in vitro determination of adiponectin concentration in human serum or plasma.
Adiponectin is a protein hormone, produced and secreted by fat cells (adipocytes), which is normally found in reasonably high concentrations within the blood. Adiponectin regulates the metabolism of lipids and glucose and influences the body’s response to insulin and inflammation.
Adiponectin levels are inversely correlated with abdominal visceral fat (AVF) levels, which have proven to be a strong predictor of several pathologies including metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), cancers and cardiovascular disease (CVD). It is widely recognised that people who are overweight are at a higher risk of developing T2DM, however measure waist circumference and Body Mass Index (BMI) are not enough. As such adiponectin levels are a much more reliable indicator of at-risk patients.
A number of key publications have advocated the testing of adiponectin in clinical settings and concluded that higher adiponectin levels are associated with a lower risk of T2DM across diverse populations.
A fructosamine test system is a device intended for the quantitative in vitro determination of glycated protein (fructosamine) concentration in human serum or plasma.
Fructosamine is a mid-term indicator of diabetic control as it can provide information on a person’s averge blood glucose levels over the preceding 14-21 days.
Due to the shorter time span of fructosamine, it is often used to evaluate the effectiveness of medication changes and to monitor the treatment of gestational diabetes.
A Haemoglobin A1c test system is a device intended for the quantitative in vitro determination of Haemoglobin A1c concentration in whole blood.
In a diabetic patient, where blood glucose levels are abnormally elevated, the level of HbA1c also increases proportionally to the level of glucose in the blood and has been widely accepted as an indicator of the mean daily blood glucose concentration over the preceding 6-8 weeks. It is therefore, a long term indicator of diabetic control.
Read our poster on Randox’s development of a new latex enhanced immunoturbidimetric assay for the rapid direct measurement of glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) applicable to RX series analysers by clicking here.
Diagnosing diabetes with the RX series
The RX series range of clinical chemistry analysers have many benefits when testing patients for diabetes. With analysers ranging from the RX misano semi-automated analyser to the RX modena which can perform up to 1200 tests per hour the RX series analysers offer a suitable platform for your laboratory, ensuring results are received in a time efficient manner. Windows based software and easily recognisable icons ensure that the RX series analysers are easy to use and allows for an enhanced laboratory productivity. Laboratory cost savings can also be achieved with a low water consumption available on each RX series analyser.
Other RX series analyser features include:
Diabetes Test Menu:
Consolidate your testing with a comprehensive diabetes testing panel available on the RX series analysers. A large number of tests can be carried out on one platform, including direct HbA1c testing, providing consolidation opportunities and real cost savings.
High quality results are achieved first time, every time. This saves operator time and avoids unnecessary additional costs of repeat testing and reduces the possibility of patient misdiagnosis.
Built in inventory management system automatically calculates remaining reagent volume and the number of tests available. Superior performance means minimal downtime and swift reporting of results.
In a QC survey conducted this year, Sten Westgard reached out to more than 45,000 laboratory professionals to gain a comprehensive view of the world’s Quality Control practices. It was one of the largest surveys that have been conducted and shared publicly.
Read on as we take a summarised look at our favourite bits.
Setting control Limits
Most labs are using their actual performance to set their mean and SD, however, a large percentage of labs still use manufacturer’s ranges, peer group ranges, and other non-individual sources for SD. These ranges can typically be set wider than they would if the ranges were based on their actual mean and SD. This can result in labs releasing incorrect patient results.
Laboratories were asked if they used 2 SD control limits on all tests and it was found that a majority use 2 SD. The strict use of 2 SD can generate a high level of false rejections (9% for two controls and higher for three). This causes a high level of out-of-control events; the use of QC multi-rules is recommended.
The types of Controls used by labs
More than 60% of labs were found to be using manufacturer controls, the drawbacks of which are well known. The latest ISO standards strongly encourage the use of independent / third-party controls. Westgard speculates that this will become a mandatory requirement in the next version of ISO 15189.
Frequency of QC
The first question about frequency asked how often labs ran QC during a run. Respondents reported how often they schedule QC in their labs. Around half only run QC at the beginning of a run with labs running it throughout the day coming in close second. A small proportion of labs reported running QC at both the beginning and the end of a run.
The final, least popular option involves spacing out QC based on test volume, the most scientific method determining how many patient samples can be run between controls without raising the risk of unacceptable results.
The next question asked about the overall frequency of QC. Most labs are meeting the once-a-day minimum standard for CLIA regulations.
“QC frequency remains primarily based on the rotational speed of the earth, not driven by needs of the clinician and patient.” – Sten Westgard
QC Frequency Influences
Regulator and accreditation requirements lead the way in influencing the frequency of QC with manufacturer recommendations, and professional judgement following close behind. Only a quarter of labs use the volume of testing to guide their QC frequency and one in six look to EP23 or IQCP for guidance.
Most labs are using on-board instrument informatics to support their QC charting, followed by LIS charting programs, and peer group software.
Of significance is the number of labs using Excel spreadsheets as their primary QC tool as well as standalone QC programs or even manual graph paper. This could be due to varying technological capabilities where some locations may not have access to, or the funds to afford, informatics.
A combined third of labs are out-of-control every day. In some labs this could be the result of running such a high volume of controls that false rejections are inevitable. However, rationalising in this way can lead to ‘alert fatigue’, where users begin to ignore alert flags and stop troubleshooting.
More than a quarter of labs have an out-of-control flag every few days while another roughly one in six have just one per week. A small number of labs report having few QC flags.
Managing QC Costs
Finally, laboratories were asked about the steps they take to manage QC costs. 60% claimed that they take no steps to manage costs. One in six reduced QC frequency, one in eight switched to cheaper controls, while, worryingly, almost one in ten changed their QC rules or widened limits.
Westgard’s Global QC Survey suggests there exists many inefficient implementations of Quality Control, with plenty of room for improvement. The current state of QC is, like many aspects of healthcare, unsustainable. Labs must adopt better approaches or risk their continuing feasibility, or worse, their patient’s results.
How Randox Can Help
Westgard highlights particular issues with labs mismanaging costs, still using manufacturer controls, and setting control limits – this is where Randox comes in.
Acusera Third Party Controls offer the highest quality solution for any lab – regardless of size or budget. Designed to provide an unbiased, independent assessment of performance, our internal quality controls have not been manufactured in line with, or optimised for use with any particular reagent, method or instrument helping you to easily meet ISO 15189 recommendations. Unrivaled consolidation allows for significant cost savings.
Acusera 24•7 Live Online allows you to automatically apply multi-rules and generate charts to help with setting accurate control limits, helping you get your quality control under control.
Reference: Westgard, S (2017), The 2017 Great Global QC Survey Results
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