College of American Pathologists
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  Revised checklists available; time to
   modify practices


December 2006
Originally published in CAP TODAY

Ed Finkel

The CAP has released its latest updates to the Laboratory Accreditation Program checklists. To ensure that CAP-accredited laboratories are up to date with the latest in quality laboratory practice, the CAP is encouraging laboratories to review these updates and modify their current practices as needed.

If your inspection anniversary date is in 2007 and you have not yet received your accreditation reapplication, your inspection will be conducted using these new and improved checklists. If you have already received your reapplication for a 2007 inspection, you are encouraged to make changes to comply with these updated checklists, but you will be inspected using the previous checklist edition.

The checklists included in this update are as follows: laboratory general (GEN), team leader assessment of director and quality (TLC), hematology (HEM), immunology (IMM), chemistry and toxicology (CHM), cytopathology (CYP), transfusion medicine (TRM), microbiology (MIC), flow cytometry (FLO), histocompatibility (HSC), urinalysis (URN), reproductive laboratory (RLM), point of care (POC), and limited service (LSV).

The anatomic pathology (ANP), cytogenetics (CYG), and molecular pathology (MOL) checklists were scheduled to be updated this month.

Here is some of what’s in the latest checklist updates:

  • Reduced requirements for waived testing, including reagent handling, calibration/ calibration verification, method validation, and quality control.
  • Revised requirement for the review of new or substantially revised laboratory procedures.
  • Expanded qualifications for physician directors of certain limited testing laboratories.
  • Expanded requirements for cytopathology requisitions and reports.
  • New requirements for D-dimer and coagulation electrophoresis assays.
  • A revision to specimen collection and patient identification.
  • Clarification of the requirement to monitor key elements of the transfusion process.

For more information, go to the laboratory accreditation section of the CAP Web site at

Ed Finkel is a writer in Evanston, IL.