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Appropriate Use of Split Sample Testing

One form of an AAP is split sample testing. Split sample testing may be incorporated into the PT plan to validate proficiency for non-regulated analytes and for specific applications as deemed appropriate by laboratory management. Split sample testing cannot be used as a replacement for PT for regulated analytes.
Split sample comparison is performed by splitting a single sample into two aliquots. One aliquot is tested using the primary test method while the second aliquot is tested on by the same or an alternate test method at another acceptable laboratory.
Split sample AAP will be completed by the laboratory for any of the following purposes:
  • Verify the accuracy of non-regulated analytes for which commercial PT is not available or utilized.
  • Compare a test or analyte to an alternate comparison method. The comparison method must be performed in a CLIA certified facility. The facility must be of the same or higher complexity level than the facility possessing the primary testing method.
  • The alternate comparison method may be an internal test method for the same test or analyte performed in house by different methods and for which duplicate PT is not performed. Each facility that tests an analyte by multiple test methods must verify accuracy of all test methods, but the regulatory restrictions prohibit ordering multiple kits for the duplicate testing method prior to the due date for the primary test method. Alternately, a separate reference laboratory or another CLIA certified laboratory with an appropriate comparison method for the same analyte(s)may be used for this purpose.
  • Additionally, split sample analysis may be utilized for determination of the cause of inaccurate test results or test system problems.
  • Split sample may also be incorporated as a part of validation of a new analytic method.