"The CAP believes these initiatives will enhance the consistency and effectiveness of our inspection process, strengthen monitoring of laboratory quality between inspections and reaffirm public confidence in the accreditation process," said R. Bruce Williams, MD, FCAP, who chairs the College’s Commission on Laboratory Accreditation. "The unfortunate incidents at Maryland General Hospital that came to light in 2004 prompted the College to re-evaluate its accreditation process. We believe the changes we announce today, and those made earlier, will go far toward preventing another case like Maryland General from occurring.

"The CAP is absolutely committed to ensuring quality through stringent standards for our accredited laboratories," Dr. Williams said. "We're also demanding more of ourselves. Being the best means striving continuously to be better, which has been the foundation of this program for the past 45 years."

The comprehensive LAP changes announced today come in several areas designed to:

  • Strengthen inspection process with new techniques
  • Provide new tools for evaluation of the laboratory director’s role
  • Improve monitoring to ensure sustained compliance
  • Ensure consistency through enhanced, required training for inspectors
  • Reaffirm public confidence in objectivity of accreditation process
  • Coordinate communication among stakeholders
  • Protect laboratory personnel and promote complaint reporting

The attached Fact Sheet (PDF, 178 K )covers each of these areas in more detail.

The CAP 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.

© 2005 College of American Pathologists. All rights reserved.