The value of error grids

My colleague and I sang the praises of error grids as a way to specify performance – for any assay. To recall, here are some of the benefits:

  1. Unlike most specifications, the limits can change with concentration
  2. Unlike most specifications, the limits need not be symmetrical
  3. Most specifications have one set of limits, implying that results within limits cause no harm and results outside of limits cause harm. Error grid have multiple sets of limits – called zones – whereby harm can be none, minor, or major.
  4. Error grid zones account of 100% of the results – they cover the XY space of candidate assay vs reference assay. Most specifications cover 95% or 99% of results, leaving the balance unspecified.

Krouwer JS and Cembrowski GS Towards more complete specifications for acceptable analytical performance – a plea for error grid analysis. Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, 2011;49:1127-1130.

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