Maine Health

Quality Assurance

Quality Improvement

The commitment to quality at NorDx applies to all aspects of our service from testing and technology to courier transport, specimen handling, and turnaround time. The NorDx Quality Council, made up of a medical director, quality assurance manager, laboratory director, and department supervisors, is responsible for overseeing ongoing quality programs and directing the implementation of new procedures and programs to continually improve the quality of the testing and services provided. This comprehensive approach includes the programs described below:

Test Request Validation

Quality checks to validate data entry of critical details of the test request data are built into our barcoded accessioning procedures. Critical information such as the test(s) ordered must be verified by different accessioning technicians. This mandatory procedure minimizes data entry errors, since any discrepancies in the entries must be resolved before the test request will be accepted.

Intra-Laboratory Quality Control

Multi-level quality control material is utilized to monitor daily assay performance. Quality control data is evaluated using computerized plots and statistical analysis. All instruments are on a scheduled preventive maintenance program. Secondary material such as aqueous-based clinical standards traceable to The National Institute of Standards and Technology and the College of American Pathologists (CAP) reference materials serve to enhance standardization of test results.

Inter-Laboratory Quality Control

NorDx actively participates in the CAP Interlaboratory Comparison Program, New York Department of Health proficiency testing program, CAP Q-Probes, and CAP Q-Track.

Routine TAT Analysis

Reports showing details of all pending test requests and the length of time the requests have been pending are reviewed daily. Those requests which exceed the maximum turnaround time expected are investigated for cause of delay. This monitor allows us to identify any specific problems with a request and notify clients appropriately. It also allows NorDx to identify trends and adjust them accordingly.

STAT TAT Analysis

STAT requests are reviewed on a regular basis for turnaround time, calculated from time of test request entry to results release.

Findings which exceed our established acceptable limits are investigated for cause at quality assurance meetings. Corrective actions are documented and implemented.

Results "Change After Release" Summary

The number of revised, confirmed, corrected, and supplemental reports are tallied monthly by department and client for review at quality assurance meetings. A detailed report of each result "changed after release" is kept on file for future reference.