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The Importance of NIST Traceable Measurement in the Medical Equipment Field

At Meriam, we trumpet our reputation as a world leader in the development of accurate and reliable calibrators and digital manometers. Within the medical field, this is not a claim to be made lightly as much of this equipment can have a direct impact on patient care. We have made a commitment to provide equipment that achieves a level of precision not seen very often in our industry.


There are several factors that rank Meriam instruments among the best on the market. Not only are they made to the highest quality and performance standards, but they are also certified as NIST traceable. “NIST traceability” might be a new phrase to those not in the industry, but it is a distinguished and important identifier in the measurement equipment sector.


We often say, “a measurement is only as good as its reference,” and NIST traceability gives us the ability to ensure that our products live up to industry accepted standards and can be given an NIST certification. Traceable measurement matters and it is extremely important in the medical field we serve.


What is NIST?

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is a non-regulatory federal agency started in 1901 by the U.S. Commerce Department’s Technology Administration.


The primary role of the NIST is to “develop and promote measurement, standards and technology to enhance productivity, facilitate trade and improve the quality of life.”


What is NIST Traceability?

NIST traceability is a property of measurement, not of the instrument.


NIST defines it as “property of the result of a measurement or the value of a standard whereby it can be related to stated references, usually national or international standards, through an unbroken chain of comparisons all having stated uncertainties.”


In simpler terms, instruments like our manometers cannot be traceable to NIST, but they can be calibrated so their measurements are traceable to NIST if certain criteria are met.


Any measurement taken with an NIST certified instrument must have the following:

  • An unbroken chain of measurements that leads back to NIST standards
  • Documented uncertainties for each step of the chain
  • Quality assurance systems in place to maintain that measurement uncertainty.

Since NIST does not monitor traceability, the proper calibration of the instrument falls back on the end user. All vendors will provide methods to their customers to assure proper calibration can be achieved.


Why is NIST Traceable Measurement Important?

NIST traceable measurement is critical for quality assurance purposes. In the medical field, the proper measurements made by these instruments can be crucial in the treatment of a patient or when manufacturing pharmaceuticals. Understanding NIST traceable measurement and its importance is essential to maintaining precise and reliable results.


The ability to ensure a measurement’s accuracy is of the utmost importance to Meriam and any manufacturer of measurement and calibration solutions. Consequently, it should also be just as important to the end-users of our equipment.


Are your devices traceable to NIST standards? Contact us to learn more about our quality products and what makes the Meriam brand one of the most trusted names in the field.