Introducing Third-Party Controls for Gel and Capillary Electrophoresis

Introducing Third-Party Controls

for Gel and Capillary Electrophoresis

Quality Control (QC) testing is undertaken in laboratories in order to ensure appropriate assay and test system performance. It is of critical importance to detect any changes, drift or inaccuracies of the test system which could lead to anomalous results, inaccurate or incorrect patient result reporting. As such, the use of quality controls is essential to prevent patient misdiagnosis.

Third-party controls are those which are manufactured without the intention of being used on a particular instrument/reagent combination in order to give a completely unbiased performance assessment of the test system as a whole.

Guidelines and Standards recommend the use of control and third-party control material to assess and monitor IVD assay and instrument performance:

“Laboratories should ensure that all commercial and in-house tests have been validated and shown to be fit for purpose. Laboratories should participate in external quality assessment schemes and undertake relevant internal quality control procedures.”

European Directive on In Vitro Diagnostic Medical Devices (98/79/EC)

“Use of independent third party control materials should be considered either instead of, or in addition to, any control materials supplied by the reagent or instrument manufacturer.”

Medical Laboratories — Requirements for quality and competence (ISO 15189:2012).

“Collect at least 20 measurements over at least 2 weeks or 10 working days, and preferably over at least 4 weeks or 20 working days. You do this by including control materials as part of your daily work for a long enough period to observe the variation expected in your laboratory.

“Too short a period leads to too small an estimate of the standard deviation. Longer estimates will include pre and post maintenance performance, changes in reagent lot numbers, sample probes or pipettes, etc.,.”

James O. Westgard, P. (2015). QC - The Calculations - Westgard. See online article.

“Each lab must design IQC systems which verify the success of the intended quality results.”

(ISO 15189: 2007)

“The lab has to provide the levels of quality control materials run each day, the frequency of performing the quality control, the types of the QC materials and the QC acceptance criteria.”

(ISO 15189: 2007)

“High importance should be given to the elimination of mistakes in the process of handling samples, requests, examinations and reports.”

(ISO 15189:2007)

“The lab should use more than one level of IQC materials i.e. normal and a pathological/abnormal control. For each IQC material each lab should establish its own mean.”

(CLSI C24-A3, Statistical Quality Control for Quantitative Measurement Procedures: Principles and Definitions; Approved Guideline—Third Edition CLSI C24-A3: 2006)

“Controls independent of the instrument/reagent supplier controls should also be used for the tests.”

(NATA, July 2009)

Third-party QC from Helena Biosciences Europe

Helena Biosciences Europe offer a range of third-party controls for Clinical Electrophoresis applications that are manufactured independently of the test system reagents and associated control material, allowing complete impartial assay verification. They are available in large batch sizes with a long shelf life, allowing use of the same lot number over multiple changes in reagents. This enables each laboratory to detect shifts or a drift in results which may occur within the test system.

Using independent control material offers wide ranging benefits including:

  • Sensitive monitoring of any shift in test system performance
  • Multiple level quality control material
  • Long term QC monitoring
  • Detection of critical analytical system and reagent issues

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