From Fear to Freedom: A QC Data Management Revolution
What if we told you we had a solution to the multitude of monotonous hours spent analysing reams of IQC data and could provide you with an intuitive tool packed with comprehensive and customisable reports, interactive charts, and automated statistical analysis to help improve your QC data management?
Perhaps it sounds too good to be true?
This time, it isn’t.
Uncertainty of Measurement. 6Sigma. QC Multi-rules. These words can strike fear into the hearts of even the most experienced laboratory staff.
With Acusera 24.7, we’ve reached under the bed and forced the monster that is advanced statistical analysis out into the cold.
Acusera 24.7 is a live, cloud-based, interlaboratory QC data management and peer group comparison software.
A mouthful. I know.
But let’s break it down.
A live, cloud-based software means you can access your QC data from anywhere, anytime.
Bid farewell to the labyrinth of folders you hunt through when troubleshooting or looking for a specific dataset.
Interlaboratory management describes the momentous task many QC managers face – monitoring the QC performance of multiple laboratories in different locations, ensuring they all maintain the high standards required for accreditation and accurate patient results.
Unlike some big-name subscription services, we encourage you to use our software at different locations to help you monitor all your laboratories and instruments to see how their results stack up against one another.
Acusera 24.7 provides multiple levels of access which are completely customisable. This allows you to grant or restrict access to different parts of the software depending on what is required by your staff. This also allows QC managers to view data from all their sites in one location without needing multiple email chains from each laboratory.
Peer group comparison? Isn’t that what EQA is for?
Well, you would be right.
Yes, EQA does provide a comparison with your peer group, but it doesn’t have exclusive rights.
There are many benefits to comparing your IQC data with your peer group. The real-time comparison data aids with troubleshooting, or you can show off how great you are to your friends and colleagues.
You can select your peer group for an instrument, method and more, providing you with a comprehensive picture of how your laboratory performance compares to your peers using the same lot of control.
There are no submission deadlines. One less thing for you to worry about.
Still think it sounds too good to be true?
Then let’s look at some of the software features and how they can be used to make your daily QC data management easier.
For many laboratories, review of their QC data is a momentous task involving an abundance of printouts with different data tables and graphs and hastily scribbled notes going back maybe months, if not years.
With Acusera 24.7’s interactive Levey-Jennings charts, you can see the QC data from a specified date range. This helps visualise trends and biases over any period to simplify the troubleshooting and lot validation processes, or, can be used as evidence during accreditation assessments. These charts can be generated for a single analyte or for multiple analytes and QC levels.
You can also add events to the graph to record factors that might impact the performance of your analyser such as preventive maintenance, calibrations or switching QC lots. So, when you come to review the QC data and see a shift in the results, you can see at a glance if there was an explanation for the change in QC results.
What’s more, the points plotted on the chart will appear in orange or red if they trigger your alert or reject protocols respectively. Those that appear as a triangle indicate a comment is attached. Comments can be added to any data point directly on the Levey-Jennings chart, allowing you to record any information relevant to the data, saving you time, not to mention the cost of all those sticky notes.
This complements the Panel feature of the software. Within Acusera 24.7 you can create a panel of tests, for example, a Liver Function Test panel, grouping all the tests together. You can then view all the QC data for this panel at the click of a few buttons. Shown below is the collective data for a clinical chemistry panel.
When you do need the paper copy, all the charts and reports found in Acusera 24.7 can be exported to Excel or PDF for independent analysis or printing, making it easy to bring your data to meetings or for hardcopy filing and audits.
For peer group comparison, you can get a performance summary chart. This chart basically does the analysis for you! You define the date and time range, and the software looks at all the data points within it for you and your peer group, comparing individual data, means, CVs and SDs. Like our other charts, you can combine any number of these for multi-analyte analysis.
Some people love statistics. Others can think of nothing worse.
Either way, there’s a lot of work involved in advanced statistical analysis.
Even if you’re in the love camp, you might find yourself sickened before you’ve finished this metaphorical jar of marmite.
The role of a pathology laboratory is not to run QC and show off their statistical skills, but to provide accurate and appropriate patient results.
As the old saying goes, time is money.
But in your case, time is the difference between a fast or delayed diagnosis for a patient.
This may impact their condition or treatment.
By making use of the suite of statistical options included in Acusera 24.7, including QC Multi-rules, 6Sigma and Uncertainty of Measurement, you can focus on providing the most accurate and efficient testing for patients.
To save even more time, Acusera 24.7 can be integrated with many LIMS or Middleware packages for fully automated data transfer. At a predefined time, your internal software will send your QC data to a shared folder on your network and from there to a Randox Cloud IP address, meaning we don’t go into your IT system and take anything; we won’t cause any information security problems. This data is then taken from the cloud and populated onto 24.7.
All this in less time than it takes you to say, ‘fully automated data transfer.’
You can also import your data through a semi-automated upload procedure. For this, the data is exported from your LIMS or middleware and imported manually to your Acusera 24.7 account using an EDI import file. Simply put, all you have to do is send the file, and the software will populate it onto the system. Alternatively, you can upload the data manually on the simple and intuitive data entry page.
Acusera 24.7, while comprehensive and initially daunting due to its vast array of features, is incredibly easy to use. The Acusera 24.7 and QC operations teams are always eager to help new and existing Acusera 24.7 users with any issues they experience. We provide complete onboarding assistance and full training on the software for new customers while delivering prompt and effective customer support for existing users.
Acusera 24•7 Live Online is an interlaboratory data management and peer group reporting package complementing the Acusera range of true third party quality controls. Designed to assist in the management of daily QC activities, Acusera 24•7 Live Online will help to meet regulatory requirements, improve error detection, reduce false rejections and ensure accurate patient results.
Delivering an online platform for effective QC data management, our software provides unique access to instantly updated real-time peer group data, automatically generated QC statistics, QC multi-rules, interactive charts and comprehensive reports.
‘The laboratory shall have a procedure to prevent the release of patient results in the event of quality control failure. When the quality control rules are violated and indicate that examination results are likely to contain significant errors the results shall be rejected… Quality Control data shall be reviewed at regular intervals to detect trends in examination performance’.
Why implement an interlaboratory program?
Acusera 24•7 Live Online is an essential QC tool for laboratories of all sizes. By participating and implementing our software your laboratory will be able to do the following;
- Quickly identify trends, system errors and reagent issues, minimising expensive repeat tests
- Automatically calculate Measurement Uncertainty, Total Error and Sigma Metrics
- Bridge the gap between daily quality control and external quality assessment
- Improve EQA performance by eliminating any undetected bias
- Facilitate regulatory compliance
- Minimise false rejections through the use of QC multi-rules
- Increase confidence in assigned QC target values
- Speed up troubleshooting processes, shortening delays in reporting
Acusera 24•7 key features and benefits
Peer group statistics are now uniquely updated live in real-time ensuring immediate access to the most up to date information available while ultimately reducing time and money spent troubleshooting, re-running samples and performing instrument maintenance. Peer groups may be based on worldwide statistics or an affiliate group of laboratories meaning you can instantly discover how you compare to other laboratories using the same lot of QC and identify if issues are unique to your laboratory or a widespread problem.
Available at no extra cost the unique dashboard allows instant identification of any QC failures and from the last seven days. Designed to significantly reduce the time spent analysing data, this highly convenient and user-friendly function means corrective action can be taken immediately with minimum disruption to the laboratory’s output. Alerts are also provided when a control lot is reaching expiry, reducing the risk of using expired material.
Levey-Jennings, Histogram and Performance Summary Charts are generated on demand, delivering quick and easy performance monitoring. With Acusera 24•7 Live Online, users have the ability to add multiple instruments, parameters and lots to a single chart allowing comparative performance assessment and immediate visualisation of any ongoing or emerging trends.
The user-friendly interface and interactive nature of the chart allows you to view data for a specific date range, zoom in on a specific data point, comment on individual data points and record events including calibration and reagent lot changes for enhanced review of trends.
Our software now automatically calculates %Bias, Total Error and Sigma metrics, enabling enhanced performance assessment and improved QC strategy design for your laboratory. The added benefit of Uncertainty of Measurement (UM) helps to meet ISO 15189 requirements. In addition results may be rejected or alerted based on QC multi-rules or user defined performance limits including Rilibak, CLIA and biological variation.
The Acusera Advisor tool will conveniently recommend a set of QC multi-rules and a minimum QC frequency for each assay based on previous performance history. Tailoring QC multi-rules to each assay in this way will make QC processes more efficient whilst ensuring high error detection rates.
Designed to help speed up the review process a range of comprehensive reports are available including, Statistical Metrics Reports, Uncertainty of Measurement Report, Exception Report, and the Audit Trail Report which provides a secure, electronic record of the creation, modification and deletion of data. This effective method of documenting the review process can help laboratories meet regulatory requirements and gain accreditation.
Evaluate and review any poor performing QC tests
The Data Review report displays data for all QC tests which have fallen outside your laboratory’s user-defined performance limits. Data may be filtered by date, instrument, lot number or rule violation. It may also be filtered to display only alerted/rejected results. The report can be exported or printed easily, to document the review process.
As always, results are colour-coded for added convenience. Once results have been evaluated, managers can record their actions by marking each result as ‘reviewed’. A ‘reviewed’ result will no longer appear on the Dashboard.
Our fully automated connectivity solution is designed to meet the needs of all laboratory types and sizes. QC data can be quickly and efficiently imported from LIMS to Acusera 24•7 Live Online without the need to import files or manually enter data.
- Reduce workload by eliminating issues associated with manual data entry
- Increases productivity and efficiency
- Captures and imports only QC data
- Secure real-time connection without disruption to the laboratory
- The software is also capable of bi-directional communication with LIMS