Updated March 13, 2013
The CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program is an internationally
recognized program and the only one of its kind that utilizes teams of
practicing laboratory professionals as inspectors. Designed to go well
beyond regulatory compliance, the program helps laboratories achieve the
highest standards of excellence to positively impact patient care.
The program is based on rigorous accreditation standards
that are translated into detailed and focused checklist requirements. The
checklists, which provide a quality practice blueprint for laboratories
to follow, are used by the inspection teams as a guide to assess the overall
management and operation of the laboratory.
The CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program meets the
needs of a variety of laboratory settings from complex university medical
centers to physician office laboratories. The program also covers a complete
array of disciplines and testing procedures. Because of its comprehensive
nature, CAP accreditation can help achieve a consistently high level of
service throughout an institution or healthcare system.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
has granted the CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program deeming authority.
It is also recognized by the Joint Commission, and can be used to meet many state certification
requirements. The CAP also provides laboratory accreditation to forensic
urine drug testing and reproductive laboratories, co-sponsored with the
American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM).
What is an accredited laboratory?
An accredited laboratory is one that is inspected
by a private not-for-profit accrediting organization that has been
approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and
its requirements deemed as equivalent to or more stringent than
CMS's regulatory requirements. An approved accrediting organization
can inspect a laboratory in lieu of CMS.
What is CAP accreditation?
The goal of the CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program is to improve patient safety by advancing the quality of pathology and laboratory services through education, standard setting, and ensuring laboratories meet or exceed regulatory requirements. Upon successful completion of the inspection
process, the laboratory is awarded CAP accreditation and becomes
part of an exclusive group of more than 7,000 laboratories worldwide
that have met the highest standards of excellence.