Quality Management in Genetic Testing

Scaling up the European Molecular Quality Network

The European Molecular Genetics Quality Network (EMQN) is a not-for-profit organisation promoting quality in molecular genetic testing through establishing, harmonising and disseminating best practice. It provides confidential external quality assessment (EQA) for over 700 member laboratories in Europe and beyond.

EMQN had grown rapidly over the years, and as its reach extended, a scaleable management system was required with support for defining, running and managing its many EQA schemes.

Customer Challenge

  • To allow EMQN to support rapid growth in the number of EQA schemes and in participation in those schemes without requiring increases in administrative resources.
  • To better support participating laboratories by offering them up to date information on the schemes in which they are participating, and access to their EQA record.

Our Approach

  • In conjunction with EMQN managers we analysed the set of existing EQA schemes and defined them as workflows which could be modelled in an automated scheme manager.
  • We deployed Axiom QAManager, and configured scheme templates to reflect the scheme process patterns.
  • We defined forms appropriate for participants to upload their submissions, and management functions including scheme scoring and the production of spreadsheet data for performance analysis.

Customer Benefits

  • A fully web-based system offering secure laboratory submissions.
  • Full management of scheme membership, laboratory invoicing and generation of certificates of participation.
  • Simple publishing of new schemes from pre-prepared process templates.
  • Support for multiple scheme catalogues, to allow differential pricing - or pricing in multiple currencies.
  • Customer account management, including automatic invoicing of members for annual membership.
  • Automatic email notifications to EMQN administrator and assessors, based on scheme progress.
  • Calendar view of scheme activities, to facilitate planning.
  • Creation of dispatch notes and labels for samples.
  • Zipped download of all submissions for a scheme, to simplify off-line assessment.
  • Individual scoring of submissions or batch scoring by uploading spreadsheets.
  • Full access control based on user role.