QUALITY ASSURANCE (QA)
Our Quality Assurance (QA) program is based on a Total Quality Management System. Shown below are the policies, procedures and personnel standards that determine how our work is completed. Ascend Clinical policy manuals describe Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and define how the laboratory conforms to state and federal standards.
Quality Laboratory Process. We participate in programs to assess all facets of the testing process.
- Specimen Uniformity Performance Evaluation Reports (SUPER) generated monthly to monitor the integrity of specimen collection determined by the number of tests cancelled or compromised.
- Proficiency testing through the College of American Pathologists (CAP) and Phenova Environmental is done regularly throughout the year to monitor the accuracy of test results.
- Quality Control (QC)
- Daily review to monitor the accuracy of test results.
- Weekly review of Action Logs to monitor trends.
- Monthly reviews: (1) Peer Review to monitor accuracy and precision in relation to other laboratories; (2) Multiple Instrument Comparison to ensure the same result is produced regardless of where the test is performed; (3) Precision Evaluation of every test method to ensure performance is better than one third of the total acceptable analytical error.
- Calibration Verification/Linearity Testing
- Semi-annual reviews to monitor for accuracy and linearity across the reportable range for each test method.
- Amended Reports generated monthly to monitor the correct reporting of test results.
- Panic Values Reports generated monthly to monitor the successful notification of life threatening results to the facility.
Overall Monitoring of Performance. Metrics Reports are generated monthly to summarize all aspects of laboratory testing including all of the above and other measures of laboratory efficiency and growth.
Quality Planning. New test procedures are investigated thoroughly before implementation. Method performance is validated per the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) for accuracy, precision and reportable range. The QA Committee, consisting of the Laboratory Medical Director and Management Team, meets on a scheduled basis to address needs and issues identified through QC and QA.
Quality Improvement. Corrective action is implemented through continuous Quality Improvement reports generated from the Quality Planning process. Laboratory staff is notified of changes in testing procedures at regularly held meetings. Clients are notified in advance of changes in procedures and testing through the use of “Ascend Clinical Updates”.