The Quality Assurance work group promotes reliable testing information and correct identification of genetic conditions, by improving the accuracy of lab testing for a broad range of conditions. The Quality Assurance work group’s efforts are primarily focused on developing a mathematical procedure (algorithm) to assess the results of Newborn Screening data in such a manner that high risk infants are more readily “flagged”, and the ability to discriminate between false positives and true cases is improved.
This work group consists of professionals from the Newborn Screening laboratories of New England, New York, Wisconsin and Connecticut. These individuals share data to test the mathematical procedure developed at the New England Newborn Screening Program at the University of Massachusetts. The primary work of the group is to test the procedure across a large number of cases to improve reliability and accuracy.
Why It Is Important
With most testing procedures, there exists a margin of error. For Newborn Screening, this means there is a possibility that a child that has a condition may elude detection and alternatively, a child could test positive for a condition that they do not have. Although relatively rare, the repercussions of a “false” indication carry a heavy impact: either a child would not receive needed, timely treatment or a child may receive unneeded treatment, burdening the parents emotionally and financially. The QA work group seeks to decrease this error rate by improving upon the accuracy of current testing procedures.