Story last updated at 8/5/2009 - 12:30 pm
JUNEAU - The SEARHC Ethel Lund Medical Center clinical laboratory recently passed an accreditation inspection and was awarded the COLA Laboratory Excellence Award.
COLA (formerly known as the Commission On Laboratory Accreditation,with details online at http://www.cola.org/) conducts unannounced inspections every two years to ensure clinical laboratory operations maintain a high level of quality service. The COLA Laboratory Excellence Award only can be achieved by COLA-accredited labs that are compliant with all COLA criteria, have demonstrated successful proficiency for the prior three testing events and have no valid complaints against the laboratory reported to COLA.
"Studies have shown that laboratory data is used by providers in 70 percent of all diagnosis and treatment decisions for patients," said John Perry, SEARHC Ethel Lund Medical Center Clinical Laboratory Manager. "This type of unannounced inspection helps assure the public that the laboratory data used in their treatment is accurate and of the highest quality possible."
The SEARHC Ethel Lund Medical Center clinical laboratory is one of over 10,000 COLA-accredited laboratories in the United States. The COLA Laboratory Accreditation Program began in 1988 and is recognized by the federal government as being equal to or more stringent than the government's own inspection program.
During the accreditation process, inspectors examine the laboratory's records and quality control procedures from the previous two years. Inspectors also examine the entire staff's qualifications, the laboratory's equipment, facilities, safety program and record, as well as overall management of the laboratory.