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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Proficiency Test Handling and Communication. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Reporting PT Sample Results

Proficiency testing results may only be reported to authorized individuals. The results must be completed and compiled as per the PT provider's requirements and instructions and in a compliant manner as per CMS, any applicable accreditation agency, and state guidelines and restrictions. Each testing facility must verify that reports are to be sent to accreditation and state agencies as appropriate for the specific laboratory. Provider specific instructions for documentation and submission of results are provided with each set of samples or on their web site.
Standard electronic and paper reporting methods require that complete method and testing information be provided. Specifics are selected from a master list provided by the manufacturer with each shipment and entered onto the report form (electronic or paper). Information typically required includes:
  • Methodology
  • Instrumentation
  • Reagents used
Inclusion of this information with the reported data ensures that the laboratory’s results are comparable to the proper evaluation group. Proper reporting units for each analyte must also be designated with the reported data. If test results reported by the methodology are different from required reporting units on the report form, the testing facility must convert the reported units to the requested units. Reporting incorrect or incomplete information with data submission may lead to unacceptable PT results.
Prior to final submission, both electronic and paper result forms should be checked to rule out clerical errors. A good approach for clerical review is confirmation of the accuracy of entered data by an alternate staff member.
Results must be communicated to the PT provider by the deadline provided to the facility. Failure to submit by the deadline will result in event failure.
Final submission must be made via an acceptable method established by the PT provider that may include electronic (on-line or fax) or by mail. Documentation of proof of submission must be retained (eg, electronic stamp, fax confirmation, or USPS verification of postmark date and time).
An attestation document is provided with original paperwork and again at the time of electronic submission. The statement must be signed by all testing personnel and the laboratory director or designee at the time of submission.
Attestation signatures verify that PT samples were examined in the same manner as patient samples, as per institution policy and procedure, and compliant with all agencies. The signed document must be maintained for the retention time specified for PT records by regulatory and accreditation organizations.