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Newborn Screening Quality Assurance Program

Photo of newborn baby

The Newborn Screening and Molecular Biology Branch, Division of Laboratory Sciences, operates the Newborn Screening Quality Assurance Program (NSQAP). NSQAP is a voluntary, non-regulatory program to help state health departments and their laboratories maintain and enhance the quality of test results. The program is operated in partnership with the Association of Public Health Laboratories. The program provides services to more than 85 domestic newborn screening laboratories, 31 manufacturers of diagnostic products, and laboratories in 67 countries. NSQAP has been the only comprehensive source of essential quality assurance services for dried-blood spot testing for more than 33 years.

Services provided by NSQAP to participating laboratories include:

  • training
  • guidelines
  • consultation
  • proficiency testing
  • reference materials

The proficiency testing services provide coded specimens to participating laboratories to see if they arrive at the expected answer. If a participating laboratory does not get the correct answer, NSQAP immediately works with the laboratory to identify and solve the problem. NSQAP publishes quarterly reports on the performance of participating laboratories.

Each year approximately 5,000 babies with severe disorders are identified in the United States using newborn screening programs. The field of newborn screening is rapidly expanding because of new technologies and genetic discoveries. As states adopt new tests for additional diseases, the NSQAP will need to extend its services to ensure the quality of test results.

If you are interested in participating in this program, please click here to see an overview of the quality assurance program.

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