EQUIP: a worldwide program to ensure the quality of urinary iodine procedures
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In 2001 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) established a program, Ensuring the Quality of Urinary Iodine Procedures (EQUIP); to assist laboratories around the world and assess the accuracy of their urinary iodine (UI). CDC designed EQUIP to issue unknown specimens to participating laboratories three times per year. Each laboratory was asked to analyze unknown samples in duplicate on three different days. During the first five rounds of EQUIP, 41 laboratories participated, measuring unknown samples and reporting their results to CDC. CDC used these results to prepare a statistical report for the laboratories. Feedback to the laboratories provided external confirmation regarding performance. As a group, laboratory performance improved; several laboratories made considerable improvement. Several laboratories that showed no improvement have ordered new equipment or are arranging for additional training. EQUIP is a key tool used to support laboratory quality assurance in an effort to eliminate iodine deficiency disorders (IDD) in the world.