The Benefits of Peer Group Data to your Troubleshooting Process

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.

Scenario

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.


Acusera 24•7 Live Online – Speeding up the Review of QC Data

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.


Acusera 24•7 Live Online V.2 – What’s New?

Acusera 24•7 Live Online – Version 2.0

Randox Quality Control are pleased to announce the launch of our brand new version 2.0 of our interlaboratory data management program – Acusera 24•7 Live Online Version 2.0.

The launch of this new version has seen major updates and improvements to the software and gives Acusera 24•7 Live Online the edge over many other competitors.

Updates to the software include real-time updates of peer data, more comprehensive charts and reports, bi-directional connectivity, speed improvements and a complete make over to the dashboard. Below, some of these updates are broken down and outlined as to why they are important for a laboratory.

Peer Group Statistics

The biggest update to Version 2.0 is definitely the ability to review peer data in real time. Previously, peer group statistics would have been updated every 24 hours, however, with this new update, data will be available to review instantly! The ability to generate peer data live in real-time will enhance the laboratory’s troubleshooting capabilities and allow labs to compare their data with others around the world. On top of this, there is no deadline for submission like some of our competitors, meaning labs can get a true reflection of performance at any time. Ultimately, labs will have the ability to identify if an issue is unique to them or if there is a widespread issue amongst their peers. Information such as this will allow laboratories to establish a root cause much quicker and therefore spend less time troubleshooting poor performance.

Reports & Charts

With version 2.0 reports and charts are more flexible than ever before. All reports can be generated for a user defined data range and will provide the lab with a whole wealth of information. Reports available on Acusera 24.7 Live Online can include; Statistical Analysis, Statistical Metrics, Audit Trail Reports and the new Exception Report. These reports, coupled with user-friendly and easy to interpret charts, such as Levey-Jennings, Histograms and Performance Summary Charts, enable rapid and stress-free performance monitoring. The ability to add multiple instruments, QC lots, analytes and events such as calibration and reagent lot changes to a single chart allows for comparative performance assessment and immediate identification of any trends.

Communication & Flexibility

The new software is now also capable of bi-directional communication with LIMS. This is a benefit to any laboratory, in the event of a QC failure or rule violation the 24.7 software send a message or alert back to the LIMS.  Acusera 24.7 is designed primarily for use with our Acusera range of true third party controls, however, our software is flexible and can therefore be used with any QC material. Performance limits, QC multi-rules and peer groups can now be customised to suit each individual laboratory depending on user preferences for each different analyte, instrument or lot of control. Alternatively, users can also create custom configurations that are able to be shared across other instruments in their labs and within their groups.

Sigma Metrics & Uncertainty of Measurement (UM)

Version 2.0 of Acusera 24•7 Live Online comes with the automatic calculation of Sigma Metrics and Uncertainty of Measurement (UM). The benefit of automatic UM calculation is that it will help laboratories meet ISO 15189 requirements. Automatic Sigma Metrics calculation is included and is designed to help improve QC strategy design.

For further information on Acusera 24•7 Live Online click here. Alternatively you can request a demo by completing the adjacent form.

  • Signing up to our mailing list is quick and easy. We do not wish to send you any spam or junk email, therefore, you can expect to receive mailshots including new product launches and updates, market trends, attendance at key industry events and much more. Randox Laboratories promise never to sell your data and we will keep all your details, safe and secure. Read more in our Privacy Policy.

Randox Quality Control – More than EQA

Did you know that Randox is the company behind the RIQAS EQA scheme? RIQAS (Randox International Quality Assessment Scheme) is just one area of our comprehensive Quality Control portfolio. As such it is our resolution this New Year to introduce Randox as the brains behind RIQAS and show you that we are more than just an EQA provider by sharing our passion for laboratory QC.

Who are Randox Quality Control?

At Randox we believe in producing high quality material that can help streamline procedures, whilst saving time and money for laboratories of all sizes and budgets. With our extensive product offering comprising third party QC sera, interlaboratory data management software and calibration verification products, you can be sure that our complete QC solutions will provide you with a comprehensive overview of laboratory performance.

Seeing the complete picture with Randox QC

Acusera QC sera 

As one of the largest manufacturers of true third party, commutable controls we deliver high quality, cost effective quality control solutions designed to accurately assess instrument performance and provide confidence in patient test results.

Acusera 24.7 interlaboratory data management 

Acusera 24.7 enables you to drive for more accurate results by helping you to monitor and interpret QC data. With access to an impressive range of features, including the automatic calculation of Measurement Uncertainty, Total Error and Sigma Metrics, Acusera 24.7 ensures analytical quality.

RIQAS EQA Scheme

RIQAS is employed by more than 45,000 laboratory participants in 124 countries. With frequent reporting you will identify errors sooner ultimately reducing the need to carry out preventable, expensive retests on a large volume of patient samples.

Acusera Calibration Verification sera and software

The Acusera linearity sets cover a wide range of clinical testing including; cardiac markers, therapeutic drugs and proteins. Designed with convenience in mind, the range ultimately helps you to meet CLIA requirements for calibration verification and the assessment of linearity.

Randox QC Resources Hub 

Beyond selling laboratory QC we are also passionate about education, offering a range of educational guides, seminars and webinars, with more to come throughout 2017. Check out our QC resources hub for our current educational material and let us know what educational material you would like to see.

For more information, or to request a visit from one of our QC Consultants, contact us via acusera@randox.com.  


Now featuring Sigma Metrics, Measurement Uncertainty & Total Error

Statistical Metrics Report

We are delighted to announce the launch of Acusera 24.7 Live Online Version 1.6, now featuring automatic calculation of Measurement of Uncertainty, Total Error and Sigma Metrics.

Automatic Uncertainty of Measurement calculation; helping to meet ISO 15189:2012 requirements

The new Uncertainty of Measurement report automatically generates and displays the Measurement Uncertainty (UM) of all QC tests currently in use helping you to easily meet ISO 15189:2012 requirements.

To calculate UM, users must first enter the SEM of their intra assay precision (A) for each individual test and each level of control. This is based on a minimum of 20 replicates performed within the same run. Based on performance history, the Acusera 24.7 software will then automatically calculate the SD of the inter assay precision (B). The software then uses the following formula to automatically calculate the UM.

UM = √ A2 + B2

Since UM is calculated using SD and one SD is equal to 68% confidence on the Gaussian curve the software multiplies the UM by 1.96 to attain the Expanded UM and a confidence level of 95%.

Expanded UM = 1.96 x UM

 The report can be filtered by date to display data from a specific date range and may also be exported to CSV or printed.

Improve QC strategy design with our new Statistical Metrics Report

The Statistical Metrics Report facilitates enhanced performance assessment by incorporating several new metrics including; Measurement Uncertainty, Total Error (TE) and Sigma.

%Bias provides an indication of your laboratories performance compared to the peer group mean, while TE gives an indication of the overall error within a test system taking into account both imprecision and inaccuracy (bias). The availability of a Sigma Metric for each test is useful for designing an appropriate QC strategy. For example methods with a high Sigma score generally require less stringent QC strategies than those with a low Sigma value.

Sigma is a measure of the number of Standard Deviations (SDs) that fit within the total allowable limits. It is generated automatically by the software using the following formula:

Sigma =  %TEa – % Bias / %CV

  • TEa – Total Allowable Error
  • %Bias – Deviation from the target
  • %CV – Imprecision of the data

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