April 2012: Laboratory Accreditation / Education / CME
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The Modern Pathology Laboratory:
Accreditation and Education as a Unified Process
Jaleh Mansouri, M.D.
Accreditation and education are inextricably linked in managing the modern diagnostic medical laboratory. In the United States, the major accreditation agencies for pathology laboratories include the College of American Pathologists (CAP), Joint Commission, and the American Association of Bioanalysts (AAB). In 2008, the CAP introduced CAP 15189SM, a voluntary accreditation program for laboratories already accredited by the Lab Accreditation Program. The purpose of CAP 15189SM is to assist laboratories in optimizing performance, minimizing error, and enhancing patient safety through a rigorous protocol of ongoing quality management with the implementation of corrective/preventive actions in compliance with ISO (International Organization for Standardization) 15189:2007 standards.
Proficiency testing (PT) of both laboratory professionals and pathologists is essential for maintaining accreditation by ensuring both competency and participation in continuing medical education. The CAP and the ASCP (American Society for Clinical Pathology) offer a variety of PT programs in diverse subspecialty areas in anatomic and clinical pathology. In addition, a number of universities and independent international and national organizations (e.g. United States & Canadian Academy of Pathology-USCAP, California Tumor Tissue Registry, Osler Institute) provide excellent opportunities in continuing pathology education including formal meetings, didactic courses, slide subscriptions, and online case reviews. Most of these activities are eligible for educational credits that can be used to fulfill MOC (Maintenance of Certification) or other certification requirements.
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A2LA is a private, non-profit membership association, established in 1978. Its primary mission is to provide a comprehensive laboratory accreditation programs. Over 1850 laboratories have been accredited in multiple fields of testing and calibration. Laboratories are accredited to ISO 15189 for medical laboratories, ISO/IEC 17025 for industrial laboratories and field-specific requirements developed with government and industry. A2LA offers both classroom, custom customer site training programs and webinars related to laboratory accreditation. An online ISO 15189 education opportunity is also offered. Information on accreditation programs, training and membership can be found on our website, www.A2LA.org.
ARUP Laboratories. Founded in 1984, ARUP Laboratories is a leading national reference laboratory and an enterprise of the University of Utah and its Department of Pathology. ARUP offers more than 3,000 tests and test combinations, ranging from routine screening tests to esoteric molecular and genetic assays. ARUP serves clients across the United States, including many of the nation's top university teaching hospitals and children's hospitals, as well as multihospital groups, major commercial laboratories, military and other government facilities, and major clinics. In addition, ARUP is a worldwide leader in innovative laboratory research and development. For more information, visit www.aruplab.com.
Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI)
is a volunteer-driven, membership-supported, nonprofit organization dedicated to developing standards and guidelines for the health care community. CLSI's standards and guidelines are the culmination of a consensus-driven standards-development process that balances the viewpoints of industry, government, and health care professionals. These highly respected documents are used every day in laboratories around the world. CLSI signature "blue books" give laboratories dependable information and industry best practices. CLSI's method evaluation software, StatisPro, provides evaluation, verification, and validation of performance characteristics of a laboratory test method. Talk to CLSI representatives or visit www.clsi.org to find out more.
Past / future feature pages:
December 2011: Grossing workstations / lab furniture
January 2012: Billing / consulting / management
February 2012: Microscopes / slide imaging
March 2012: Tissue processors / other histology
May 2012: Computer software and systems
June 2012: Diagnostic testing / reagents
July 2012: Imaging / digital / photography
August 2012: Books & Journals
September 2012: Antibodies
October 2012: Laboratories
November 2012: Consumable Lab Products / Clinical Lab Analyzers
December 2012: Grossing workstations / lab furniture
January 2013: Billing / consulting / management
February 2013: Microscopes / slide imaging
March 2013: Tissue processors / other histology
April 2013: Laboratory Accreditation / Education / CME
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