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Accreditation to the International Standards Organization for Quality Management Granted to First U.S. Lab
Date:11/20/2008

NORTHFIELD, Ill., Nov. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The College of American Pathologists (CAP), a deemed accreditation authority, is pleased to announce it has awarded the CAP 15189(SM) Accreditation to Piedmont Medical Laboratory. This accreditation is based on the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for laboratory technical competence and continual quality management and focuses on improved patient safety and risk reduction, outlining standards for quality and competence particular to medical laboratories. Piedmont is the first laboratory in the United States to attain this accreditation.

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CAP 15189(SM)is a voluntary, non-regulated accreditation to the ISO 15189:2007 Standard as published by the International Organization for Standardization. This program does not replace the CLIA-based Laboratory Accreditation Program, but complements CAP accreditation and other quality systems. This program optimizes processes to improve patient care, strengthen quality standards while reducing institutional errors and risks, and controls costs. CAP 15189 is an educational program that offers a highly disciplined approach to implementing and sustaining change.

According to Joseph Skrisson, president and CEO of Piedmont Medical Center in Winchester, VA, "The CAP 15189 accreditation program is a milestone for laboratory medicine in the U.S.A. CAP's recognition and endorsement of ISO will serve as a catalyst for wider acceptance of the ISO standards and principles by laboratories in North America. Since ISO 15189 is becoming the laboratory industry's international language for quality and competence I will be looking forward to one day sitting down with colleagues from around the world to share ideas and discuss the challenges facing all of us in laboratory medicine today."

"CAP 15189 is a highly disciplined approach to implementing and sustaining best laboratory practices as well as quality management," said Cordelia Sever, M.D., FCAP, chair of the CAP 15189 Committee. "We are very impressed by the efforts displayed by Piedmont in achieving this landmark accreditation and look forward to a long partnership that will benefit patients and the accredited organization."

Dr. Sever added, "Although the 15189:2007 Standard is not currently mandated in the United States, CAP believes that laboratories that strive to be in the top ten percent in quality will benefit from seeking this standard and is proud to make it available to American laboratories."

For additional information on the CAP 15189:2007 program, visit www.cap.org/cap15189.

About the College of American Pathologists

The College of American Pathologists (CAP) is a medical society that serves more than 17,000 physician members and the laboratory community throughout the world. It is the world's largest association composed exclusively of pathologists and is widely recognized as the leader in laboratory quality assurance. The CAP is an advocate for high quality and cost-effective patient care.

About Piedmont Medical Laboratory

Piedmont Medical Laboratory (PML) is a full-service, joint venture reference laboratory established in 1991, and located in Winchester, Virginia, about 60 miles from Washington, DC. The laboratory, owned by eight hospitals and two pathology groups, services an area that includes seventeen counties in North Central Virginia and West Virginia. Its client base includes PML's affiliated hospitals, long term care facilities and physician offices.

PML performs approximately one million billable procedures each year with about 90 percent of test results produced onsite, with the exception of anatomic pathology, which is not performed at PML. Testing platforms includes chemistry and hematology (which includes coagulation and urinalysis), limited andrology services, limited blood bank services, microbiology and limited mycobacteriology, along with the most recent addition, molecular pathology. Esoteric tests are referred to Mayo Medical Laboratory.


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SOURCE College of American Pathologists
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