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2018 CAP Accreditation Checklists Detail Medical Laboratories' Blueprint For Compliance And Best Practice

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

Northfield, IL—The College of American Pathologists (CAP) published the 2018 edition of its accreditation program checklists on August 22, 2018, providing medical laboratories a blueprint for maintaining compliance with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regulations.

The CMS regulates all laboratory testing, except research, performed on humans in the US through the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA). The CAP, through its Laboratory Accreditation Program, is a CMS-approved accreditation organization with deeming authority to inspect laboratories under CLIA. The CMS requires laboratories to undergo an unannounced on-site inspection once every two years.

The 2018 checklist edition includes nearly 3,000 requirements organized into 21 checklists which represent the CAP accreditation program’s rigorous accreditation standards. During inspections, CAP teams use the checklists as a guide to assess the laboratory's overall management and operation. The program is internationally recognized and the largest of its kind that utilizes teams of practicing laboratory professionals as inspectors.

“Our program is designed to go well beyond regulatory compliance, helping laboratories achieve the highest standards of excellence to positively impact patient care,” said Bharati Jhaveri, MD, FCAP, chair, CAP Council on Accreditation. “For more than 50 years, the CAP has been collaborating with clinicians to develop standards and guidelines to improve patient care and outcomes while helping physician teams make more informed decisions about diagnosis, optimal treatment, and cost efficiency.”

The CAP annually reviews and updates the checklists, led by the CAP Checklists Committee, to maintain program stringency and the highest standards of patient care while reflecting advancements in medicine, technology, and laboratory management. The committee, made up of practicing pathologists, relies on the expertise of pathologists and other laboratory professionals to continually review the checklists which culminates in the annual release.

In the 2018 accreditation checklist edition, the CAP added more than 40 new requirements and significantly revised more than 240. Some of the most significant changes were made in the Anatomic Pathology, Laboratory General, and Transfusion Medicine checklists. For example, in Transfusion Medicine, the CAP expanded record retention requirements to align with those of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The CAP will be hosting two webinars to help CAP accreditation participants manage the transition to the 2018 checklist edition:

  • October 10, 2018: CAP Accreditation Checklist Updates: Changes that Matter (Speakers: William West, MD, FCAP and Harris Goodman, MD, FCAP. Drs. West and Goodman are members of the CAP Checklists Committee)
  • November 14, 2018: What’s New and What’s Worth Revisiting in Anatomic and Cytopathology (Speakers: Kenneth Klein, MD, FCAP and Ritu Nayar, MD, FCAP. Drs. Klein and Nayar are members of the CAP Accreditation Education Committee)

Register for the webinars at cap.org.

About the College of American Pathologists

As the world's largest organization of board-certified pathologists and leading provider of laboratory accreditation and proficiency testing programs, the College of American Pathologists (CAP) serves patients, pathologists, and the public by fostering and advocating excellence in the practice of pathology and laboratory medicine worldwide. For more information, read the 2017 CAP Annual Report at CAP.ORG.