OUR LABS - The lab and testing process includes the following rigorous assessment:
1. Laboratory director: It is s/he that has the knowledge, technical expertise and experience that shapes the test and the laboratory as a whole. A review of his or her background and area of specialisation provides a good understanding of what the laboratory is able to perform. It is one of our most important considerations when reviewing a laboratory. Dr Jeffrey Bland was once asked, “What in your experience is the key difference between a great clinical laboratory and a mediocre laboratory?” He answered, “The most important overriding feature of an outstanding laboratory is the lab director.”
2. Ownership of the laboratory: Nordic Laboratories encourages laboratories to employ laboratory directors in an independent position, such that s/he has no economic dependence on the results of the laboratory (other than salary). This helps to ensure objectivity.
3. Quality control measures: We qualify that our laboratories adhere to the strictest guidelines on quality control protocols provided by independent associations.
4. Reproducibility: We demand that our tests meet a high standard of reproducibility. By this we mean that two separate results of the same persons sample are predominantly the same. Imagine doing a food allergy test whereby one report identifies 10 food allergens and yet the same test carried out on a following day identifies 10 different allergens – which one do you believe? Unfortunately this happens, and although a doctor can evaluate reproducibility by sending in what is termed a “split sample” very few doctors have the time and luxury to do this. At Nordic Laboratories we conduct regular split samples on all of the tests we offer to ensure that they maintain their standard.
5. Sample stability: It is important that a test sample is stable and travels well. Results gained should be the same whether the laboratory is next-door or halfway around the world. Nordic Laboratories tests samples under differing conditions to see what a sample can tolerate and what it cannot.
6. Report format and test result interpretation: Laboratories that work with a test method day-in-and-day-out become overly familiar with a particular test, and sometimes fail to provide comprehensible test results. With this in mind, Nordic Laboratories is working to provide the most easily interpretable test reports.
7. Clinical relevance: There is no point in running a test, regardless of how accurate it is, if it has no clinical relevance. We monitor the clinical relevance of all of our tests, both by reviewing the literature and through our in-house experience with patients at our clinic in Copenhagen.
8. Commitment to continuing research and development: New technologies are being developed and new research is conducted constantly. Few current laboratory tests are 100% reproducible and 100% clinically relevant. Yet, in time and with continued research more tests will near this goal. It is therefore expected that the laboratories we work with contribute a certain amount of their annual turnover to further research, and we as an organization are monitoring new laboratories for new technologies.