Why our clinical trial equipment calibration is an essential service for successful research studies

22/11/2022

Accuracy and truth are the foundations on which science advances. But how do you know your clinical trial is dealing with accurate data? That simple question is fundamental to every research study, whatever the location or specialism. And it is why clinical trials equipment calibration should be an essential concern for all research, science, and medical professionals. Because if you aren’t dealing with truthful data, the consequences for your study can be catastrophic.

At Woodley Trial Solutions, we know medical professionals face more pressures than ever. By making equipment calibration a central part of our offering, we aim to relieve at least one significant area of stress for everyone involved in the research programmes we supply. But first, let’s start at the beginning.

What is equipment calibration?
Calibration is the comparison of results taken from your equipment under test and compared against known national standards with an unbroken chain of documentation.

This traceable reference will determine whether the device is performing to specification and whether it requires adjustment to continue operating accurately.

Calibration is required for almost all quality management standards, including ISO9001. It allows you to be confident your devices are accurate, and that your results are valid.

A manufacturer will specify the tolerance levels, calibration intervals and performance tests to be completed as part of their IQ/OQ/PQ, which is the technical standard for acceptance testing, functional testing, and re-testing equipment.

At Woodley Trial Solutions, we understand the importance of these steps and work closely with manufacturers to ensure all equipment is maintained and documented to these high standards.

Here are some the real-world challenges that can arise if three pieces of commonly used medical equipment are not calibrated correctly:

  • Syringe pumps are tasked with safely delivering a drug, so it’s critical that a) everything is functioning as it should and that b) incorrect doses are not administered simply because the equipment has not been calibrated.
  • Scales used to weigh patients must be accurate, because the information they provide is often used to determine subsequent medication requirements.
  • Ultra-low freezers and fridges need to be calibrated to ensure they operate at their specified temperatures, thereby avoiding stored materials being spoiled. 

Aside from the guaranteed accuracy, reliability and peace of mind that comes with knowing their equipment is correctly calibrated, our clients enjoy three other significant benefits as a result of this service:

Reduced anxieties
Many on-site researchers lack the technical understanding of how the components within any given piece of clinical trial equipment operate together. Our clients do not have to worry about any of this. They can trust that the equipment they receive is correctly calibrated and will function as needed, instantly eliminating anxieties that they may lose valuable time trying to troubleshoot or fix equipment when it is well outside their area of expertise.

Ongoing equipment management
If you buy clinical trials equipment directly from the manufacturer, the responsibilities lie entirely with you. It is your equipment and it’s your responsibility to monitor and manage any future calibrations. By renting or purchasing equipment from us, our clients can access support throughout the duration of their clinical trial or the lifeline of their product. Through our global logistics set-up, we’ll make sure equipment arrives on site on time. Our Project Management team can both notify you when a timed service is due and look after elements of clinical study product and service requirements. And we’ll even provide replacement/loan equipment to cover any time your equipment is with us.

Post-trial support
Many researchers who buy clinical trial equipment have difficulty with the disposal of their equipment when their trial has finished. Researchers who rent from us do not face the same challenges. They simply return it to us and think nothing more of it, while we refurbish it, recalibrate it, and ensure it can be used again by other researchers anywhere in the world. This is a significant environmental benefit and prevents equipment from prematurely arriving in landfill.

If you’d like to work with a supplier who can handle equipment calibration, reduce your stress and stop your trial breaking down, then contact us today. We’ll be happy to help.


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