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CAP Releases 2017 Laboratory Accreditation Checklists with Detailed Requirements to Improve Laboratory Quality

The checklists contain approximately 3,000 requirements that are used during laboratory accreditation inspections to help laboratories stay in compliance with CMS regulations

by College of American Pathologists
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lab accreditation checklist

Northfield, IL—The College of American Pathologists (CAP) released on August 21, 2017, the 2017 edition of its Laboratory Accreditation Program checklists. The checklists contain approximately 3,000 requirements that are used during laboratory accreditation inspections to help laboratories stay in compliance with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regulations.

The CMS regulates all laboratory testing, except research, performed on humans in the U.S. through the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA). The CAP is a CMS-approved accreditation organization with deeming authority to inspect laboratories under CLIA.

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The CAP's program is based on rigorous accreditation standards that are translated into detailed checklist requirements. CAP inspection teams use the checklists as a guide to assess the laboratory's overall management and operation. The program is internationally recognized and is the largest 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.

As with each yearly checklist edition, the CAP reviews all 21 discipline-specific checklists to maintain program stringency and the highest standards of patient care while reflecting advancements in medicine, technology, and laboratory management. The CAP Checklists Committee, made up of practicing pathologist members, lead the annual review and updating of checklists, seeking input from experts in pathology and laboratory medicine.

Related Article: Laboratory Accreditation

"Since the inception of the CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program more than 50 years ago, the CAP has committed itself to the highest standards in pathology and laboratory medicine and applying those standards to the accreditation program for the benefit of patients," said Bharati Jhaveri, MD, FCAP, chair, CAP Council on Accreditation which oversees the accreditation program and Checklists Committee.

In the 2017 accreditation checklist edition, the "Team Leader Checklist" has been renamed "Director Assessment Checklist," to better reflect the checklist’s intent of assessing the laboratory director. The CAP made some of the most significant changes to checklists for the sections on personnel, specimen collection and handling, laboratory director responsibility and oversight, anatomic pathology, and molecular-based testing.

A webinar, "Be in the Know: 2017 CAP Accreditation Checklist Updates," is scheduled for September 20, 2017. William West, MD, FCAP, chair, CAP Checklists Committee, and Harris Goodman, MD, FCAP, vice chair, CAP Checklists Committee, will lead the session. VISIT CAP.ORG to register.