The IQMH Centre for Proficiency Testing is thrilled to announce the upcoming release of the IQMH Proficiency Testing 2020 catalogue this August. We’ve been working hard to ensure that the 2020 Proficiency Testing (PT) programs meet and exceed your laboratory’s needs. This article outlines the biggest and most notable change, which is the complete overhaul of the Chemistry General program. Details on other changes and improvements are also discussed in this article.
Changes to Chemistry Survey Materials
Serum Chemistry Survey — New!
The new Chemistry survey consists of analytes that were previously in the Routine Chemistry (CHEM), Drug Monitoring (DRUG), Enzymes and Bilirubin (ENZY), and Lipids (LIPS) surveys, except ethanol and tobramycin which have been removed from the program.
New analytes: cholinesterase, CK-MB, fructosamine.
Urine Chemistry Survey — New!
The new Urine Chemistry survey consists of analytes that were previously in the CHEM-UR survey, except amylase which has been removed from the program.
Pilot analytes: cortisol, free deoxypyridinoline (DPD), free metanephrine, free normetanephrine, free 3-methoxytyramine, N-telopeptides.
Changes to Chemistry Surveys
- Survey material analyte concentrations cover all clinically-relevant levels. The survey material has changed from spiked liquid human-based to lyophilized human-based. This important change makes it possible to cover all clinically-relevant concentration ranges.
- Improved survey sample stability leads to participant cost-savings. The new survey material has a stability range of two years, enabling shipment of the testing material once at the beginning of each year. Participants benefit from shipment cost-savings.
- Larger peer group sizes improve robustness of statistical analysis. Collaboration with The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia Quality Assurance Programs (RCPAQAP) in distributing the same testing materials and sharing unidentified result data improves the robustness of the statistical analysis by increasing peer group sizes.
- Customize surveys according to your laboratory’s test menus (serum chemistry only). Participants now have the flexibility of choosing from a large variety of analytes according to their laboratory’s needs with several price categories.
- Customized analysis worksheets (serum chemistry only). Electronic analysis worksheets will only contain the analytes chosen by the laboratory for testing to simplify the process of completing and submitting the worksheet.
- Improved tool for method code maintenance. The structure of the method code maintenance screens will provide greater ease of use for participants.
- Redesigned survey reports to provide even more relevant results. The survey report format will change to display results of both the current survey and cumulative results from the previous surveys in the same report. This provides participants with a view of all aspects of their PT performance within the same report.
Graphics in the survey reports will be changed from dot plots to bar graph histograms. Laboratories will be provided with SDIs in comparison to all-methods’ mean, principle mean, reagent mean, and where applicable instrument mean, along with the respective standard deviations. Where no Percent Allowable Difference (PAD) score is assigned, due to a peer group with less than five participants, laboratories may compare their results with a broader group as an internal alternative assessment.
Chemistry Urine Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) Qualitative (CHEM-UCG) — New!
A new urine survey for hCG testing is now available for qualitative methods.
Endocrinology Parathyroid Hormone (PTH) Survey — New!
A standalone PTH material is now available with improved stability. One boxed set consisting of 3 sets of 3 vials containing lyophilized human serum, reconstituted volume of 1.0 mL, is shipped once at the beginning of each year.
Important note: PTH will no longer be available in the Endocrinology and Tumour Markers material (ENDO-A).
Shipment of the testing material occurs once at the beginning of each year for the following surveys: ENDO-A, ENDO-B, ENDO-PSA and ENDO-PTH.
Immunology Web-based (IMGY-WB) Survey — New!
This web-based survey will involve a clinical case study that may include accompanying images. The survey is ideal for training and competency assessment.
VIRO-IM (Infectious Mononucleosis) — New!
A new survey for the detection of heterophile antibodies for infectious mononucleosis has been added to the program. A set of defibrinated native human plasma will be used as the testing material. This survey is suitable for rapid testing kits and devices. Survey assessment will be qualitative and assigned values will be determined by participants’ consensus and verified in comparison with the supplier’s certificate of analysis.
IMPORTANT: ONTARIO LICENSED LABORATORIES
Participation in the IQMH Centre for Proficiency Testing programs is mandated by the Ontario Ministry of Health (MOH). Ontario licensed laboratories will be automatically enrolled in the appropriate surveys according to their laboratory license.
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