Missing the Target on QC Testing
The main issues are not mixing, vortexing (which introduces small air bubbles), evaporation from a non-sealed cap, poor storage conditions, and capillary loading (bubbles or a wicked out tip). The Negative Control may also report results when the system is still “wet” from cleaning. The cleaning procedure should be done at the end of the day, not at the beginning.
Here are some troubleshooting steps if you find your SQA system missing the QC target:
- Ensure the system passes the self-test and all values are in range.
- Re-run the problematic level, making sure you are mixing well, not vortexing, and loading without bubbles.
- Review a report of the last ten runs to see if you can spot trends – sometimes a HIGH result one day will result in a LOW result the next (a sign of not mixing.)
- Test another box to help isolate the problem.
- Contact MES for a new box of QC if one is not available.
With proper storage, sample handling, and testing techniques in place, QC errors on the SQA system should be extremely rare. If you find your QC is unstable after following the recommendations above, please contact Medical Electronic Systems for additional troubleshooting.