42 CFR § 493.1413 - Standard; Technical consultant responsibilities.

§ 493.1413 Standard; Technical consultant responsibilities.

The technical consultant is responsible for the technical and scientific oversight of the laboratory. The technical consultant is not required to be onsite at all times testing is performed; however, he or she must be available to the laboratory on an as needed basis to provide consultation, as specified in paragraph (a) of this section.

(a) The technical consultant must be accessible to the laboratory to provide on-site, telephone, or electronic consultation; and

(b) The technical consultant is responsible for -

(1) Selection of test methodology appropriate for the clinical use of the test results;

(2) Verification of the test procedures performed and the establishment of the laboratory's test performance characteristics, including the precision and accuracy of each test and test system;

(3) Enrollment and participation in an HHS approved proficiency testing program commensurate with the services offered;

(4) Establishing a quality control program appropriate for the testing performed and establishing the parameters for acceptable levels of analytic performance and ensuring that these levels are maintained throughout the entire testing process from the initial receipt of the specimen, through sample analysis and reporting of test results;

(5) Resolving technical problems and ensuring that remedial actions are taken whenever test systems deviate from the laboratory's established performance specifications;

(6) Ensuring that patient test results are not reported until all corrective actions have been taken and the test system is functioning properly;

(7) Identifying training needs and assuring that each individual performing tests receives regular in-service training and education appropriate for the type and complexity of the laboratory services performed;

(8) Evaluating the competency of all testing personnel and assuring that the staff maintain their competency to perform test procedures and report test results promptly, accurately and proficiently. The procedures for evaluation of the competency of the staff must include, but are not limited to -

(i) Direct observations of routine patient test performance, including patient preparation, if applicable, specimen handling, processing and testing;

(ii) Monitoring the recording and reporting of test results;

(iii) Review of intermediate test results or worksheets, quality control records, proficiency testing results, and preventive maintenance records;

(iv) Direct observation of performance of instrument maintenance and function checks;

(v) Assessment of test performance through testing previously analyzed specimens, internal blind testing samples or external proficiency testing samples; and

(vi) Assessment of problem solving skills; and

(9) Evaluating and documenting the performance of individuals responsible for moderate complexity testing at least semiannually during the first year the individual tests patient specimens. Thereafter, evaluations must be performed at least annually unless test methodology or instrumentation changes, in which case, prior to reporting patient test results, the individual's performance must be reevaluated to include the use of the new test methodology or instrumentation.

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