Monitoring Accuracy

The measurement accuracy of laboratory tests, used routinely to conduct patient care, research and public health studies, can change over time. It is important to detect these changes to ensure that correct measurement results are reported.

CDC offers a formal program for laboratories to monitor their tests, and another program for researchers to monitor contract laboratories.

CDC CSP enables laboratories and investigators to continuously monitor the accuracy of measurements in patient care and research studies over time

CDC CSP Programs and Analytes Measures
Program Analytes
CDC Lipid Standardization Programs (LSP) Total Cholesterol, Total Glycerides, HDL-Cholesterol, Apolipoprotein AI, Apolipoprotein B
CDC Accuracy-based Monitoring Programs (AMP) Total 25-hydroxyvitamin D, Total Testosterone
CDC Accuracy-based Blind Quality Control Program Total Testosterone, Estradiol, Total Cholesterol, Total Glycerides, HDL-Cholesterol, Free Thyroxine, Total 25-hydroxyvitamin D

CDC Accuracy-Based Monitoring Program (CDC AMP)

Using the below process, CDC’s Accuracy-based Monitoring Program (AMP) helps laboratories monitor the accuracy of their own laboratory tests over time:

  1. CDC provides participants samples with reference values unknown to the participant.
  2. Participants measure these samples weekly along with their regular patient or study samples.
  3. Participants report the results of their sample measurements to CDC.
  4. Using established statistical assessment procedures, CDC compares participants’ results against the actual concentrations determined with the CDC reference measurement procedures.
  5. CDC provides participants with quarterly assessment reports.

CDC AMP Participant Protocol [PDF – 231 KB]

To enroll in the program, contact

List of Participants Within Performance Criteria [PDF – 229 KB]

Accuracy-based Blinded Quality Control Program

Using the process below, CDC’s contract laboratory assessment program helps researchers monitor the accuracy of their contract laboratories’ tests:

  1. CDC provides researchers with “blinded” quality control samples, meaning the quality control samples cannot be differentiated from the study samples. These are vials with serum samples an investigator adds to batches of vials with study samples. These vials are labeled in the same manner as regular study samples. The number of quality control samples used, and the frequency with which they are added to the study samples, can vary depending on the needs and requirements defined by the investigator.
  2. The laboratory measures the samples and reports the results to the investigator.
  3. The investigator compares the reported values with the actual concentrations using CDC’s reference method.

To request blinded quality control samples, contact