Danish Institute for External Quality Assurance for Laboratories in Health Care, DEKS
DEKS, Rigshospitalet - Glostrup, Nordre Ringvej 29-57, DK-2600 Glostrup, Denmark.
Email: deks@deks.dk



An introduction to DEKS and external quality assurance


1. About DEKS






2. DEKS’ activities

2.1 Services provided by DEKS

DEKS offers a variety of educational EQA schemes, calibration materials and reference materials, alone and in collaboration with our Nordic and English colleagues among others. DEKS also provides know-how to the participants.


2.2 DEKS Users Meeting

Once a year DEKS conducts a Users Meeting, which is organised as a congress with lectures, courses, an exhibition of posters, and a commercial exhibition of laboratory products. The Users Meeting has approximately 300-350 participants.


2.3 DEKS’ website

On the Danish part of DEKS’ website, www.deks.dk, you will find news and information about projects, EQAprogrammes, the yearly Users Meeting etc.


2.4 “DEKS informerer

“DEKS informerer” is a newsletter. The newsletter includes information about new projects, experimental EQA-programmes, observations of e.g. inexplainable deviations on special instruments or with special calibrators.


2.5 International co-operation

DEKS has a close co-operation with sister organisations in the Nordic countries. This is of benefit for all parts, for instance because of more participants, special projects, or experimental quality assurance programmes.


Besides, DEKS is participating in co-operation in Europe through EQALM, the umbrella organisation for European/global quality assurance organisation.


2.6 Standardisation

Often, it is standardisation which increases the correctness of measuring. DEKS is for instance member of a working group at “Dansk Standard”, and is also present in other international harmonising working parties (C-AQ2; JCTLM3).


2.7 An example of a project – NORIP

The Nordic Reference Interval Project is a transnational project by which common Nordic referenceintervals for the 25 most ordinary compounds has been determined. DEKS participated in this as originator of the project.

The advantage of common Nordic reference intervals is the independence of the origin of laboratory analysing a compound. The reference intervals are presented in the literature and can also be seen on the website www.furst.no/norip.


3 What is external quality assurance

External quality assurance (EQA) is a way to assure an independent documentation and evaluation of the reliability of a measured result. Participating in EQA is a claim for accredited laboratories.

The frequency of EQA varies between 1-2 times a year up till 12 times a year. Often different EQA materials are used from time to time which means that the laboratory do not know any “true” value in advance. EQA cannot be used for the daily internal control of the stability of instruments and measurement procedures. EQA is an educational way of estimating long-term stability of measurement procedures and their compliance with other procedures or with reference materials or methods, besides others.


4 More information

Please contact DEKS (see www.deks.dk for data) if you wish to know more about quality assurance or have special wishes to compounds or methods which are to be quality assured.






2 Committee on Analytical Quality under IFCC (International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine)

3 Joint Committee for Traceability in Laboratory Medicine established by the International Committee of Weights and Measures (CIPM), The International Federation for Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (IFCC), and The International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC).