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Questions & Answers

 

Search the list below for commonly asked questions to help troubleshoot your QC problems.  Got a question not listed below?  Ask us at qconnect@nrl.gov.au

 


Which QC sample is the correct one to use for my assay? 

QConnect is designed to ensure your assay is matched to the most appropriate QC sample and QC data is analysed in the correct peer group.  Please consult the QConnect Catalogue to determine which QC sample is right for your assay.  If your assay is not on the list, please contact qconnect@nrl.gov.au
 

What is a “Peer Group”?

A peer group is a group of participants that all use the same QC sample in the same assay.  The data submitted for each peer group are unique for the peer group and cannot be compared with data from participants that use other assays.  This allows for more meaningful analysis of your data.

 

I have changed to a different assay and have leftovers of my QConnect QC sample.  Can I continue using the same QC that I was using before?

First, consult the QConnect Catalogue to determine the right QC sample for your new assay.  If the same QC sample can be used, no changes are required.  If a different QC sample is recommended, a new QC order will need to be placed.  If your assay is not on the list, please contact qconnect@nrl.gov.au

 

The manufacturer of the assay has released a new version.  Can I continue to use my QConnect QC samples on the new version of the assay?

A change in assay version may often result in a change in the contents/constituents of the assay.  It will likely perform in the same manner, but this is not always the case.  However, NRL will need to change the details in QConnect and EDCNet to reflect these changes.  If there is a change in version of your assay, contact NRL qconnect@nrl.gov.au to advise of the updated version.

Where can I find the Instructions for Use (IFU) and Materials Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for the QConnect QC samples?

Simply click on the "QC Samples" icon from the QConnect menu navigation. 

Can QConnect QC samples be frozen?

QConnect Serology QC samples should not be frozen.  QConnect NAT QC samples must be stored frozen at -20°C.  Please refer to the relevant IFU for detailed instructions on storage and handling.


My laboratory tests an assay infrequently and consequently the QConnect QC sample usage is infrequent.  Can I sub-aliquot the QConnect QC samples and freeze the remainder?

Each QConnect QC sample has specific requirements for storage and handling.  Please refer to the relevant IFU for detailed instructions on storage and handling.

 

Can I use a vial of QConnect Serology product until it runs out however long that may take?

Once opened a vial of QConnect serology products have an Open Vial Stability claim.  Details of the Open Vial Stability can be found in the relevant IFU.

 

Why do I need to include QConnect QC samples in an assay?

There are many publications and experts that have recommended including an independent QC sample in every test run.  In doing so, variation in the test system can be monitored.  Many regulatory bodies (e.g. International Standards Organization (ISO), National Association of Testing Authorities, Australia (NATA), Clinical Laboratories Improvement Amendments (CLIA)) recommend the use of independent QC samples as best practice and have stated this requirement in various accreditation standards.

 

How often do I need to include QConnect QC samples in an assay?

Ideally, QConnect QC samples should be included in every test run to maximise your potential to identify variation in each test run.  However, in many random access and automated analysers, the concept of ‘test run’ is not as clearly defined.  In this case, laboratories may consider developing minimum standards on QC usage.  For example, once a day in a low specimen throughput setting or once every shift/calibration in high throughput setting.