Evaluations are typically available approximately 30 days after the result due date. This time allows for processing the data. AAFP-PT recommends marking your calendar to remind you when to expect your evaluation. The estimated evaluation release date will appear on your PT Central home page shortly after the close of the testing period. Participants will receive an email with the evaluations attached.
Participants may view and, if desired, print any current or previous evaluations by logging into their PT Central home page. Once logged in, follow these steps to access your evaluation:
During each event, AAFP-PT collects data submitted by participating labs. The data is compiled and Peer Group, Method Group, and All Method statistics are generated based upon:
If there is a sufficient number of labs using the same method/instrument that have reported results, then these labs are compared.
If there is not a sufficient number of labs using the same method that have reported results, the labs are compared with either Comparative Method (methods determined to have the same methodology or technology) or All Method statistics.
If there is not a sufficient number of labs reporting at All Method, the results are not graded due to no comparison group.
Occasionally, AAFP-PT, in consultation with advising physicians, determines that a specimen or analyte should not be graded following review of the results. Reasons may include documented specimen problems, result variance, and invalid results. The evaluation clearly states the reason for not grading a specimen.
Labs are required to review and evaluate proficiency testing results according to the CLIA regulations. A “PASS" in the column labeled “Comments” requires no additional follow-up unless the result has passed because the specimen was “Not Graded.” Any analyte (both regulated and non-regulated), specialty, or subspecialty assigned a score that does not reflect the laboratory’s performance must be evaluated for accuracy by the laboratory. This includes a review of actual PT results against the PT provider’s participant summary results. This requirement is now specified in the regulations. Situations requiring this review include:
Non-regulated analytes and analytes for which compatible PT samples are not available must also be evaluated for accuracy; this may be accomplished by split or blind testing of materials with known values or other external assessment programs.
A "FAIL" result always requires follow-up investigation and documented corrective action.
A cumulative report indicating your performance status for all regulated analytes, specialties, and/or subspecialties for which you are enrolled. Federal regulations do not require waived or non-regulated analytes to be included on this summary.
All Method Statistics – The combined statistics for all labs reporting for the specimen and analyte.
Peer Group Statistics – The combined statistics for labs reporting with the same methodology/instrument.
Comparative Method (Method Group) Statistics – The combined statistics for labs reporting with like methods/instruments.
Not Graded/Lack of Consensus – Less than 80% of participants in the Peer Group reporting results for the analyte are within the established acceptable range.
Not Graded/No Comparison Group Found – Less than five laboratories in Peer Group. Unable to establish a scientifically defensible statistical range for evaluation as defined by CLIA. (Unable to grade by using neither comparative method nor all method statistics.)
Not Graded/Lack of Referee Consensus – Less than 80% of referees reporting results for the analyte are within the established acceptable range.
Not Graded/Specimen Problem/Unable to Obtain Result – Laboratory indicated specimen problem. This typically occurs when the lab is unable to obtain results for the specimen due to specimen performance and no replacement specimens are available.
Not Graded/Excessive Variability Data – The coefficient of variation (CV) is a tool used to express precision of the determination. Precision is the measure of random variability and is defined as the reproducibility of a laboratory determination when it is run repeatedly under similar conditions. An extremely high CV indicates lack of precision and may occur when outliers are included in the statistical calculations. Excessive result variability is also observed when there is a significant difference between the mean and the median indicating no distinct target value.
Not Graded/Exclusion Requested – The lab is unable to report both patient and proficiency testing results during the testing period. An exclusion may be granted if the laboratory meets the requirements in 493.823 (b).
Referee Grading Used – Grading for a specimen is determined by a select group of participating labs (referee labs). The consensus of the referee group must be 80% or higher.
Fail/No Results Received – The laboratory failed to report results. For an analyte or module in which they were enrolled.
All laboratories, at one time or another, experience a proficiency testing (PT) failure. It is important to promptly investigate all PT failures and initiate corrective action. A systematic approach to PT failure investigation is required and easily adaptable to all laboratory environments. Labs should document completely each step of investigation taken in their effort to uncover the cause of the failure and develop a corrective action plan to prevent reoccurrence. For more information about investigating PT failures and corrective action, see the current AAFP-PT handbook.
Review your evaluation carefully. If the error is not the fault of the participant, your entry may be re-evaluated if AAFP-PT is notified in writing of the problem within 30 days of the evaluation release date for the event in question. The correction deadline date will be on the front page of the evaluation for each event. Correction requests will not be accepted after this date.
Clerical errors made by the laboratory when reporting data cannot be corrected. Failures that result from neglecting to notify AAFP-PT of instrument or method changes are also unable to be corrected. For failures that are the result of a data processing or grading error, complete a Corrected Evaluation Request form. A copy of the form may be found on your PT Central homepage or in the AAFP-PT handbook.