Laboratory Quality Assurance and Standardization Programs
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
Improves the detection and diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases by ensuring laboratory measurements that test patients’ blood for cholesterol levels are accurate and reliable.
Improves the diagnosis of polycystic ovary syndrome, certain cancers, and other diseases of hormone excess and deficiency.
Provides services to laboratories and manufacturers of diagnostic products for newborn screening for detection of treatable, inherited metabolic diseases.
Assists laboratories in monitoring the degree of variability and bias in their assays.