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Published on July 19, 2011

Contact: Joe Schramm
Phone: 800-323-4040, ext 7445
E-mail: media@cap.org

CAP Enhances Laboratory Accreditation Program Checklists

Northfield, IL.—The College of American Pathologists (CAP) Laboratory Accreditation Program this week released enhanced checklists that are used in the accreditation inspection process to help laboratories meet Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requirements. The CAP accredits 7,000 laboratories in 45 countries.

The enhancements provide less redundancy and remove obsolete requirements. In addition, they consolidate requirements that are similar or identical across most disciplines into a newly created All Common Checklist, removing requirements from discipline-specific and the Laboratory General checklists. Examples of All Common requirements include: proficiency testing, test method validation, procedure manuals and critical results.

Gerald Hoeltge, MD, FCAP, Chair, CAP Checklist Committee, explains the enhancements were initiated to “first and foremost maintain program stringency and the highest standards of patient care—the gold standard.”

“We want to promote more thorough, consistent, and fair inspections with checklists that are easier to use with requirements in easy-to-understand language,” Dr. Hoeltge said. “CAP Accreditation’s goal is to improve patient safety while at the same time advancing the quality of pathology and laboratory services.”

The CAP Checklists continue to evolve with 21st century medicine and the enhancements include a new Clinical Biochemical Genetics Checklist designed for laboratories that provide clinical biochemical genetic testing for the diagnosis and management of patients with inborn errors of metabolism.

“Our program is designed to go well beyond regulatory compliance and helps laboratories achieve the highest standards of excellence to positively impact patient care as medicine changes,” said Frank Rudy, MD, FCAP, Chair, CAP Commission on Laboratory Accreditation. “CAP Accreditation, internationally recognized, is the only program that utilizes teams of practicing laboratory professionals as inspectors.”

Details about the checklist enhancements will be shared during audio-conferences on August 3 and 10. Dr. Hoeltge and Denise Driscoll, MS, MT(ASCP)SSB, CAP Director, Laboratory Accreditation and Regulatory Affairs, will lead the sessions. For more information, visit www.cap.org, email education@cap.org, or call 800-323-4040 option 1.

The College of American Pathologists is a medical society serving more than 17,000 physician members and the laboratory community throughout the world. It is the world’s largest association composed exclusively of board-certified pathologists and is widely considered the leader in laboratory quality assurance. The College is an advocate for high-quality and cost-effective patient care.