College of American Pathologists

News Release

Published on: December 30, 2002

College of American Pathologists Offers New Lab Preparedness Survey Product

Anti-Bioterrorism Educational Product Developed in Collaboration with the CDC

NORTHFIELD, ILL.— The College of American Pathologists (CAP), is now offering a new product, the Laboratory Preparedness Survey (LPS), an anti-bioterrorism educational product developed in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  This Survey is the latest addition to the CAP Surveys Program, a program that delivers superior proficiency testing materials to laboratories while providing true peer comparison with its superior enrollment size.

Designed as a learning tool for medical laboratories, the LPS consists of two annual shipments with five challenges of live surrogate organisms and/or photomicrographs that approximate the characteristics of likely bioterrorism threats like anthrax, smallpox, and plague.

After receiving the samples, the laboratories are asked to correctly identify the agents represented and then return their conclusions to the CAP.  Those results are then evaluated by the CAP for accuracy and a Participant Summary Report, evaluation, and critique are sent back to the laboratory.

“The College is working with the CDC to help improve the National Laboratory Response Network by strengthening the link between the state and the clinical laboratory systems.  As part of that effort, the College has developed this powerful educational tool,” said Paul A. Raslavicus, MD, president of the College of American Pathologists.

Along with the challenges themselves, the LPS testing kit also includes useful educational materials for microbiology personnel designed to augment their recognition and identification of potential biowarfare agents that could create a public health emergency.  

The LPS also contains supporting information from the CDC to help ensure that the laboratory’s protocols incorporate elements consistent with the CDC’s national bioterrorism preparedness efforts.

“The CDC and the College recognize that pathologists and laboratory technologists play a vital role in this country’s preparedness against the threat of bioterrorism,” said Dr. Raslavicus.  “In light of that, it is important to give the practitioners of laboratory medicine the education and the tools they need to perform their duties to the best of their abilities.”

For more information about the LPS product, visit the CAP website.

The College of American Pathologists is a medical society serving nearly 16,000 physician members and the laboratory community throughout the world.  It is the world's largest association composed exclusively of pathologists and is widely considered the leader in laboratory quality assurance. The CAP is an advocate for high quality and cost-effective patient care.