Quality Systems

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About AHDC

Quality Systems


The Quality Systems (AHDC) is the only full-service, multidisciplinary (i.e., Avian, Bacteriology, Comparative Coagulation, Clinical Pathology, Endocrinology, Immunology, Molecular Diagnostics, Quality Milk Production Services, Parasitology, Serology, Toxicology, and Virology)  animal disease diagnostic facility in the northeastern US.  The AHDC comprises the New York State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, as well as Clinical Pathology, Endocrinology and Comparative Coagulation Laboratories. With the exception of the last three labs, all of the AHDC laboratory units in the Ithaca area are accommodated in the approximately 125,000 gross square feet (76,000 net square feet) building, which also houses seven BSL-3 qualified research laboratories.

In addition to the family of laboratories listed above, the AHDC is also supported by Anatomic Pathology within the Department of Biomedical Sciences. Anatomical Pathology consists of many faculty and staff supporting three laboratories: immunohistochemistry within Cornell’s veterinary hospital complex, necropsy and histopathology, both of which are located within the AHDC. Their valuable diagnostic testing services include necropsy examination, histopathology, biopsy evaluation and diagnostic immunohistochemistry. As part of Cornell University, the AHDC is actively involved in campus-wide collaborations in order to develop new tests and new diagnostic technologies in order to provide its clients the highest quality, state of the art testing services.

Quality System

The AHDC has implemented a Quality System to document management policies and principles supported by AAVLD, OIE 2008, ISO 17025 -2205, the Food and Drug Administration Codes of Federal Regulations, and the United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. The objective of this quality system is to deliver reliable, traceable test results to our clients.  We adhere to all management and technical requirements as defined in our quality system to guide our organization towards continual improvement.  We involve our staff and faculty at all levels of our organization in the implementation of our quality system. Testing is performed according to authorized and approved standard operating procedures. We carry out internal and external quality audits to ensure compliance with the standards we meet for accreditation and/or review.  Staff are qualified and trained to provide quality test results for our clients, and to operate and utilize all aspects of our quality system for continual improvement.  Records are in place and updated as needed to verify employee competency. We write corrective action reports when the quality of our test results at any point do not meet or adhere to the requirements we have put in place. Root cause analysis is documented and laboratory management reviews and approves corrective action plans. Equipment is regularly maintained, calibrated and checked against performance criteria.

Quality control of testing is planned and reviewed and may include one or more of the following, depending on the test.

  • Review of all statistical quality control to monitor for shifts and/or trends
  • Positive and Negative controls for qualitative testing
  • Internal quality control
  • Replicate testing
  • Re-testing of retained specimens or samples
  • Participation of intra-laboratory comparison
  • Proficiency testing

We maintain quality records of our corrective and preventive actions, internal audits and management review reports, as well as all technical and quality related supportive documentation. We use AAVLD accredited referral laboratories when we subcontract testing services whenever possible.  Our Quality Milk Production Service (QMPS) program uses only QMPS regional laboratories for testing services that meet ISO 17025-2005 accredited test methods.

The AHDC has established an Executive Board that includes rotating Laboratory Section Heads from: Laboratory Operations (AHDC Veterinary Support Services), Microbiology Sections A and B, Clinical and Analytical Services, Quality Milk Production Services, Business Operations Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences, and Anatomic Pathology within the Department of Biomedical Sciences. In addition, one AHDC staff member sits on the Executive Board, representing the AHDC staff. It is the responsibility of the AHDC Executive Board to review and plan resources for the AHDC, to support quality training for employees, to achieve excellent results from all AHDC laboratories, and to maintain good professional practices to maintain and improve the excellent standard of services we offer our clients.

This coming year, the AHDC will implement Microsoft SharePoint as our electronic document management system.  This will support our document and record requirements for accreditation as well as allow the entire AHDC community the opportunity to review documents posted in the AHDC Library.  Each laboratory unit will have their own work pages to collect and store information critical to their section, as well as the ability to share this information with others.  Sharepoint also supports a variety of communication tools e.g., wiki, blogs and various library types to enhance dialogue and feedback. 

Client Communication and Feedback

The AHDC has a diverse client base ranging from individual producers and veterinary practices to other state, federal and private laboratories as well as private firms.  The currently active client list includes international clients as well as clients from all 50 US states. We are very proud of the services we provide to our client base, and strive to meet our clients’ diagnostic testing, field services and education needs. You can help us meet your needs by writing us with your comments and suggestions at: Diagcenter@cornell.edu

QA Letters

Please contact the AHDC Quality Assurance Manager (dla37@cornell.edu) when requesting a QA Letter to meet your inspections and accreditation requirements.