In November, the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) and the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC) hosted a joint webinar on the use of quality control (QC) materials in diagnostic testing.
Attendees then received some ‘top tips’ from Clare Morris, a specialist in the development of international standards for use in clinical diagnosis, for selecting the most suitable quality control materials for their assays. She explained the differences in control materials, from QC materials to highest order calibrators and the format of the material itself, how they’re made and characterised.
The final session presented by NIBSC scientist David Padley provided practical advice on monitoring QC data covering the use of Levey-Jennings charts and Westgard Rules, and what to look out for when analysing your data. He discussed the use of Levey-Jennings plots to provide “a graphical representation of your data that can indicate whether a lab test is performing consistently and correctly. Plotting your mean and standard deviation also makes it easy to see if runs are valid or invalid ”
The webinar closed with an interactive Q&A session that allowed delegates to pose their questions on topics such as the suitability of different control materials and issues with data monitoring to the speakers.
Clare Morris, Scientist at NIBSC commented: “As global leaders in the production of standards and quality control materials, we were excited for the opportunity to share our knowledge with the scientists working hard to deliver diagnostic results on a day-to-day basis. Ultimately, better QC processes will lead to more accurate and reliable diagnostic results and offer greater benefits for patients.”
IBMS Deputy Chief Executive Sarah May added: “We regard this collaborative webinar with the NIBSC as a highly valuable opportunity to bring information and learning to our profession in an easily accessible manner.The presentations provided important insights on quality control materials that will help all those who are working to ISO accreditation standards. It addressed the challenges faced by laboratory staff and provided the opportunity for discussion and engagement with experts.”
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