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Scope of service

Any test performed in the laboratory is subject to a variety of factors that may influence the outcome of the result. Some of these factors include the sample itself, the test method, reagents used and different operators carrying out the same process. Variations can also be caused by procedures that involve the measurement of analytes and reagents whereby environmental factors such as temperature and humidity may affect results. Any equipment used in the process will further introduce the opportunity for variation.

In order to provide a measure of confidence in results produced by a laboratory it is necessary to identify all factors which may contribute to variation in a process and assess their potential to influence uncertainty. Once identified these factors must be reduced or controlled to an acceptable level and a value for the range of acceptable uncertainty assigned where possible.

The CMHS has chosen, where possible, to utilise internal Quality Control material and data to establish Uncertainty of Measurement in between run data. If possible a clinical sample has been used for within run data.

For the purposes of uncertainty calculations all data is assumed to describe a normal distribution. We can therefore calculate a 95% confidence interval for these distributions and obtain the standard error (uncertainty) for any given laboratory test.

Upon request the laboratory shall make its estimates of measurement of uncertainty available to laboratory users.