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EQA benefits

There are many benefits for a genomics laboratory/centre participating in external quality assessment (EQA).  Here are some of the benefits of participating in GenQA EQAs.

 

Laboratories accreditation

Membership and participation in GenQA EQAs will fulfil your laboratory’s requirement for external quality assessment/proficiency testing to meet national/international guidelines and standards for laboratory accreditation. This demonstrates that your laboratory is committed to providing the highest quality of analysis for all patients.

Laboratories recognition

Laboratories are proud to be members of GenQA and demonstrate that they have achieved satisfactory levels of EQA performance. GenQA can support this by providing laboratories with an annual participation certificate.

Clinically relevant case studies

All of our cases are based on real-life scenarios within genomic laboratories and centres, and most of our EQAs are accredited to the ISO 17043 standard.  See a full list of our EQAs.

New innovations

GenQA are continually updating their EQAs to reflect changes in genomic laboratories e.g. the introduction of NGS gene panel tests, or by the use of pilot EQAs for assessment of new laboratory tests e.g. SCID newborn screening (as prescribed by Public Health England).  We aim to reflect the current working practices as closely as possible.

Comparison against other laboratories worldwide/Benchmarking

GenQA provide you with an Individual Laboratory Report (ILR) with your laboratory’s individual scores and tailored individual comments/recommendations for your laboratory.  In addition, we also provide a Summary Report for each EQA, which details a summary of performance of all laboratories, thereby allowing participants to compare their assay performance across time, methods, and networks.

 

The report highlights best practice, common errors or poor practice, up-to-date guidance and clinically relevant performance issues.

Educational support

This is provided in the form of:

 

  • Releasing EQA Summary Reports, including reference to current professional guidelines and standards
  • Hosting several annual Scientific Participant meetings and workshops focussing on best practice and latest developments within clinical genomics.
  • Providing pilot EQAs for new and upcoming tests that laboratories are introducing
  • Involvement in the production of UK and international guidelines, and other scientific publications.
  • Peer reviewed publication of EQA findings
Technological advances

Ensure you are providing the best results for your assay, and have access to information regarding which technologies other laboratories are using for the same assay and/or potential issues with a technology.

 

GenQA collaborate with manufacturers and regulatory agencies to alert them to issues and assist in early resolution of problems with assays, analysers and kits.  Collaborating with industry, and both UK and non-UK professional societies.

Expert help

The GenQA director/deputy directors all have scientific experience in genomics laboratories (in some cases 20 years +) with several members previously being involved in day to day management of diagnostic laboratories.  Therefore, we are able to provide advice and assistance on a case by case basis.  We can also provide access to international expertise through our extensive network of expert scientific assessors.

Face to face discussion

GenQA attend many worldwide meetings and conferences throughout the year.  Feel free to come and talk to us at the conference, or contact us to arrange a meeting during the conference.

 

We also present talks or posters at most of these meetings and/or an exhibition stand or Scientific meetings for GenQA members.  

 

If you would like to invite us to speak at a national/international event then please contact us.

Individual competency testing

GenQA are unique in not only providing EQAs for laboratories and clinical staff, but also individual competency testing for laboratory processes e.g. sample reception, variant classification/interpretation, laboratory report authorisation, and histopathology tissue assessment. In response to  international standards we understand that evidencing competencies is also crucial to laboratory quality.

Benefits of GenQA being a member of UK NEQAS

UK NEQAS services have been used by over 100,000 clinical laboratory scientists and associated healthcare professionals in more than 150 countries.

 

UK NEQAS has been providing EQA for over 50 years (since 1969).

 

The services offered by UK NEQAS cover haematology, microbiology, clinical chemistry, genetic testing, cellular pathology, reproductive science and immunology with a total of 324 different external quality assessment programmes available to improve and promote health.

 

All UK NEQAS EQAs are designed and run by organisers and managers who are wholly committed to leadership in better healthcare worldwide, are experts in current clinical practice in laboratory and clinical diagnostics.

 

Assured independence through a Board of Trustees, governance mechanisms, codes of practice and independent advice through our steering committees of medical and scientific staff.

 

All members of the UK NEQAS consortium are committed to:

 

  • Providing EQA services that are appropriate to clinical practice, responsive to laboratory needs and ISO 17043 accredited
  • Support education of clinical laboratory scientists and related staff
  • Provide laboratories with information on relative performance of different methods
  • Assist laboratories to achieve good EQA performance
  • Support laboratories in attaining ISO 15189 accreditation
  • Present findings of EQA programmes at national and international conferences
  • Publish findings from EQA programmes in international peer reviewed journals
  • Collaborate with international bodies and groups.
Benefits to the public
  • 95% of clinical pathways relying on patients having access to pathology services.
  • 70% of all diagnoses rely on pathology.
  • High quality pathology services form an essential part of modern healthcare.
  • UK NEQAS/GenQA focuses on tests which make a difference to patient care. We cover tests for the entire disease spectrum from cancer to autoimmunity, from blood transfusion to transplantation, from genetic diseases to allergy.
  • UK NEQAS/GenQA educate laboratories with clinically relevant case studies.
  • UK NEQAS/GenQA shares best practice with all stakeholders.
  • UK NEQAS/GenQA helps laboratories achieve accreditation and harmonised quality.