Chromosome microarray proficiency testing and analysis of quality metric data trends through an external quality assessment program for Australasian laboratories.
Chromosome microarrays are an essential tool for investigation of copy number changes in children with congenital anomalies and intellectual deficit. Attempts to standardise microarray testing have focused on establishing technical and clinical quality criteria, however external quality assessment programs are still needed. We report on a microarray proficiency testing program for Australasian laboratories. Quality metrics evaluated included analytical accuracy, result interpretation, report completeness, and laboratory performance data: sample numbers, success and abnormality rate and reporting times. Between 2009 and 2014 nine samples were dispatched with variable results for analytical accuracy (30-100%), correct interpretation (32-96%), and report completeness (30-92%). Laboratory performance data (2007-2014) showed an overall mean success rate of 99.2% and abnormality rate of 23.6%. Reporting times decreased from >90 days to <30 days for normal results and from >102 days to <35 days for abnormal results. Data trends showed a positive correlation with improvement for all these quality metrics, however only 'report completeness' and reporting times reached statistical significance. Whether the overall improvement in laboratory performance was due to participation in this program, or from accumulated laboratory experience over time, is not clear. Either way, the outcome is likely to assist referring clinicians and improve patient care.
Wright, DC; Adayapalam, N; Bain, N; Bain, SM; Brown, A; Buzzacott, N; Carey, L; Cross, J; Dun, K; Joy, C; McCarthy, C; Moore, S; Murch, AR; O'Malley, F; Parker, E; Watt, J; Wilkin, H; Fagan, K; Pertile, MD; Peters, GB
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