What does RIQAS Point of Care do?

On a monthly basis we distribute an identical sample of blood to clients participating in the scheme. Clients return their test results within a set time and are then informed how their results compare with the other participants using the same analyser. Poor performance is traffic light highlighted on an electronic report, a more detailed breakdown can then be obtained by clicking on any traffic light. In time a picture builds up of whether results are consistently accurate and reliable or whether there may be analyser and/or operator performance issues.

Why do I need to participate in a Quality Assurance Scheme?

Participation can help provide assurance that patients’ results are reliable. Generating accurate and reproducible results ensures that the right advice can be offered to a patient. Increasingly, commissioners of services like NHS Health Checks require assurance of satisfactory performance in a QA scheme

How often will I receive the samples?

Samples are distributed on a monthly basis; see Distribution Timetable.

How long do I have to process the sample and submit the results?

Results must be returned by the closing date of the EQA issue. Please see the Distribution Timetable for further information.

How are my samples sent to me?

Riqas pack

The samples are sent by First Class post on the Distribution date (Monday) at room temperature in a black transport bag (see above). See Distribution Timetable for more information.

What happens if my sample is left out of the fridge when it arrives?

Whilst the samples are stable at room temperature up until the expiry date (see Distribution Timetable) it is best to store them in the fridge (at 2 - 8˚C) as soon as possible until you are able to test them.

Do not freeze

How should I deal with the sample?

The samples are sourced from blood donations. Whilst only donations that are :

  • Non-reactive for antigens to Hepatitis B
  • Negative by tests for antibodies to HIV and Hepatitis C
  • Non-reactive for HIV-1 RNA and HCV RNA are circulated

The samples should be handled as if they were patients’ blood.

Do you send out repeat samples?

Repeat samples are only sent in certain circumstances; please contact us for more information.

What happens if I get a glucose, triglyceride or TC:HDL ratio result?

Some cassettes and strips used on the point of care machines may generate results for glucose and triglycerides. Your machine will also generate a TC:HDL ratio result. There is currently no facility to enter these results and generate a report for these analytes with this Scheme. Please ensure you submit the results under the correct headings.

What happens if I get an error message on the machine?

In the first instance check the Troubleshooting Checklist Information Sheet for guidance. If you are still unsure, please contact the RIQAS Point of Care Team Helpline by either riqas_poc@randox.com or telephone 02894422413 and asking for Andrew Fuller for assistance.

What should I do with the sample after I have tested it?

The cassette or test strip, pipette tip and QA sample should be disposed of as clinical waste.

Do you supply the consumables for the machine?

No, we only supply the pipette tips and Minipet to process the samples. Please contact the company who supplied your machine for Check Strips/Optics Check Cassettes/PTS® strips/LDX® cassettes.