Wednesday, November 04, 2009

The gold standard

Our pathology labs receive accreditation from the College of American Pathology and the American Association of Blood Banking. Inspections are every two years and cover about 3000 separate standards. The reviewers are pathologists and technologists from other participant organizations.

We just completed an inspection conducted by a 15-member team, a group with very impressive qualifications.

I am proud to say that,
not only did we pass with flying colors, but one surveyor said, "I have been doing inspections for 30 years and if any place has a gold standard, this place is It"!

As noted by Dr. Jeffrey Saffitz, our Chief of Pathology, "In more than 35 years in academic pathology, I have not witnessed such an extraordinary level of commendation and praise from a team of peer reviewers. Almost without exception, these seasoned, experienced inspectors indicated that they learned a great deal from us and they intend to implement many of our policies and practices in their own institutions. Many also expressed a desire to take some of our people back to their home institutions! The cooperation, trust, work-ethic, dedication and commitment to excellence by our lab personnel is absolutely unparalleled."

Congratulations to the entire team!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The College of American Pathologists inspection system has been criticized for being too collegial, but no one can fault its theoretical rigor nor its specificity. As Paul mentions, there are innumerable standards enunciated on several inspection checklists, one for each separate area of the lab (hematology, microbiology, etc.) Criteria for meeting the standard are clearly spelled out. Each standard is pre-graded as to the seriousness of a deficiency in it, either phase I (less serious) or phase II (more serious). Deficiencies must be addressed within a certain time period after the inspection, with evidence presented that they are remediated.

As a previous inspector myself, I believe this inspection system should be a model for health care inspections in general. If you go "by the book", inspections are pretty well standardized and fair.
The additional benefit is that the inspection team, which is truly a jury of one's peers, often learns better ways to do things themselves and takes that back to their own labs - cross fertilization.
Would that we could have such coordination in other areas of medicine.