We remodeled our microbiology EQA programs to reflect a more intuitive workflow closely aligned with your laboratory’s operations and protocols. We recognize that EQA programs are not only useful for testing a laboratory’s ability to return accurate results, but if designed properly they can also provide an invaluable assessment of the laboratory’s testing process and identify areas for improvement. Oneworld Accuracy Microbiology EQA has been redesigned within our informatics system, OASYS, for exactly that purpose.
A MORE INTUITIVE WORKFLOW
To provide more valuable feedback to our participants, we have divided culture testing into 4 processes similar to that of a regular microbiology laboratory. We recognize that microbiology culture and pathogen identification is a lengthy procedure and there is a need to ensure accuracy along the entire testing process. A mistake in the early stages can lead to an erroneous identification. Each sample in our EQA programs comes with a case history and sample source information that assists participants in selecting the appropriate testing algorithm.
EASIER TO IDENTIFY ROOT CAUSES OF ERRORS
By capturing all the information related to the different test processes performed, participants will be able to follow their testing process and decision making along the way leading to their final result. This information will make it easier for the participant and oversight bodies to identify the root cause of the error by having a view of the participant’s entire testing process. All of this information can also be collected to build a database of errors and possible corrective actions.
FOUR INTERMEDIARY PROCESSES ALIGNED WITH LABORATORY WORKFLOW
Primary culture: Information is collected on the growth medium used, incubation time, incubation temperature, and colony morphology description. The primary culture result influences the subsequent testing processes, it is important to capture these preliminary results as they help to identify possible incorrect handling of the culture which may have led to an incorrect identification.
Microscopy examination: Information is collected on Gram staining, bacterial shape and arrangement. The correct Gram stain and shape is a strong indicator of the pathogen and influences the following testing. This information is captured in OASYS to ensure the participants adequately correlate microscopic examination results with the final identification.
Bacterial identification: Information is collected on the pathogen identification. Participants are asked to submit their result based on their extent of testing (laboratory capability). For example, Staphylococcus aureus (extent 4 or 5) or Gram positive cocci, refer for identification (extent 1) would be considered as acceptable results, depending on the laboratory’s testing capabilities.
Antibiogram: Participants are asked to select and provide antimicrobial susceptibility results based on international guidelines (CLSI or EUCAST).
REGISTER YOUR TESTING METHODS FOR EASIER REVIEW
With the new workflow, participants will have to register the method used for bacterial identification and antibiogram, either as manual, semi-automated, or automated. For participants that register a manual method, they will be able to enter results for the interpretation of growth on selective and differential growth medium and biochemical tests. Participants that use a semi-automated (such as identification strips) or automated (such as microbiology analyzer systems) methods will be able to enter the ID code or probability percentage for the pathogen identified.