Laboratory Quality Assurance and Standardization Programs

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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, newborn screening disorders, nutritional status, and environmental exposures.

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.

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