As a veterinarian, when you submit a diagnostic test, the service lab is your business partner. You expect the same quality service from your business partner that you provide your pet-owning clients. An important part of that service is the product quality, and in this case the product is the diagnostic test result. The following are a few important considerations when considering a diagnostic test.
1. Diagnostic performance
2. Turnaround time
3. Ease of sample submission and retrieval of results
4. Expert clinical consultation and laboratory support
A lot goes on behind-the-scenes at MiraVista Diagnostics to ensure reliable test results. Although, this will only scratchthe-surface, some notable examples are described below.
Innovative Rapid and Reliable Diagnostic Tests
Many of the tests offered by MiraVista Diagnostics (MVD) were developed by MVD scientists and are only available from MVD. Each test development requires months of laboratory work in order to exceed the strict validation requirements set forth by CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments), CAP (College of American Pathology), and other certifying programs. For example, in a recent laboratory validation – over 30 potential interfering substances were investigated. In addition, analytical sensitivity, specificity, repeatability, reproducibility, robustness (storage stability, free-thaw effects), and test reagent stability were all investigated.
Ensuring a test is clinically useful is also vital. MiraVista believes that clinical validation is as important as analytical validation. The diagnostic performance of tests offered at MiraVista are investigated in clinical settings and commonly described in peer-reviewed publications. For example, the Histoplasma antigen test has been used in over 70 published, peer-reviewed studies (human and animal). Many of these manuscripts are available on our website (miravistavets.com). These data help you make informed diagnostic decisions.
Continually Improving Diagnostic Tests
MiraVista strives to leverage technological advancements to continually improve available tests, even when performance is already high. One example is the recent modification of the Histoplasma antigen test. Modifications decreased turnaround time, expanded the quantifiable range, and removed the positive but below-the-limit-of-quantification result - all of which are aimed at providing a more clinically useful test.
Additional Quality Control Practices
Reliable test results not only require a well-designed assay but also need highly trained people to perform them. All testing at MiraVista is conducted by Medical Laboratory Scientists who have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in science (Clinical Laboratory Science, Biology, Chemistry, Health Sciences) from an accredited institution. In addition, the majority of laboratory personnel are certified by the ASCP (American Society for Clinical Pathology) as Medical Laboratory Scientists.
Laboratory scientists at MVD are highly skilled. Training often requires at least 1 month per test for each employee. Training includes “hands-on” practice and each scientist is only able to perform a test after demonstrating competency on blinded evaluation.
Proficiency testing is also conducted at the laboratory level, as MVD undergoes semi-annual blinded third-party (College of American Pathologists) proficiency testing. For analytes that are not available through a third-party program, internal testing is performed.
There are many other quality control practices, unique to MVD, not listed here. For example, all new positive antigen (Blasto, Histo, Asper) tests are repeated the following shift. This is out of an overabundance of caution but illustrates MVD’s commitment to providing you only the most reliable results.
Expert Clinical Consultation and Laboratory Support
MiraVista has a team of infectious disease, diagnostic medicine, and laboratory scientists available to answer your questions. We are available M ─ F (8 AM – 5 PM, EST). We can be reached via phone: 888-841-VETS (8387), email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or through our online portal (miravistavets.com). We would love to hear from you.