Industry News: Waters’ Environmental Resource Associates (ERA) Significantly Accelerates Turnaround Time for Proficiency Testing Results

02 Aug 2013

Environmental Resource Associates (ERA), a Waters® Business, recently completed a nine-month project to significantly reduce the turnaround time for reporting laboratory proficiency testing (PT) results. Beginning August 1, ERA’s innovative new process will allow customers to know within two business days of a study close if they pass or fail a proficiency test – nineteen days faster than before.

It is imperative that laboratories receive reliable PT results as quickly as possible. Laboratories rely on proficiency tests to signal potential quality issues within their facility. A failed proficiency test could be an indicator of a problem with testing methodology, instrument, or an analyst’s performance.

Dr. Carl Craig, President of ERA, who was a driving force behind the development of the new process explained, “A laboratory’s PT results drive key decisions in the areas of air and water quality, health care, environmental management, food safety, and laboratory operations. Having faster access to study results is absolutely critical because of the larger implications when testing drinking water, air pollutants or waste water.”

The two-day report turnaround is effective with ERA’s monthly proficiency testing studies that include water pollution, drinking water, air and emissions, and soil. In addition, laboratories and facilities that participate in ERA’s study for the annual Environmental Protection Agency’s Discharge Monitoring Report-Quality Assurance (DMR-QA) program will receive their study results in two business days.

“Whether it’s a college student waiting for test scores or a patient waiting on a biopsy result, improvements in technology and data processing have allowed results to be returned quickly in many other areas.” Craig added, “I put the challenge out to the ERA team last year to reduce the report turnaround time and they delivered in a big way.”