Laboratory Quality Assurance and Standardization Programs

Photo of scientist using pipette

More than a billion laboratory tests that identify and measure chemicals, such as lead or cholesterol, are performed each year in the United States. The test results have a significant influence on medical decisions.

Given the importance of laboratory test results, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Environmental Health has programs to help assure the quality of these data so patients and healthcare providers (as well as researchers and public health officials) can be confident that laboratory test results they receive are accurate. These CDC programs focus specifically on laboratory tests that are related to chronic diseases (Cardiovascular Disease Biomarker Standardization Programs and Hormone Standardization Program), newborn screening disorders (Newborn Screening Quality Assurance Program), nutritional status (Vitamin A Laboratory-External Quality Assurance and Vitamin D Standardization Program), and environmental exposures (Ensuring Quality of Urinary Iodine Procedures, Lead and Multielement Proficiency Program, and Proficiency of Arsenic Speciation).

CDC offers customized QA and standardization programs to help laboratories improve the quality and reliability of their measurement procedures. The specific CDC services that are offered provide: reference materials, proficiency testing, training, guidelines, and consultations. Each CDC laboratory QA and standardization program is voluntary and most are free of charge.

Quality Assurance and Standardization Programs

Page last reviewed: July 25, 2017