Last Updated on
January 20, 2023
When labs are in compliance with CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments), it is validated with a CLIA certificate. After becoming CLIA-certified, a lab can then pursue a higher level of quality by applying for accreditation by an accreditation agency such as CAP.
The College of American Pathologists (CAP) is a leading healthcare accreditation organization; it has spent over 70 years improving and advancing the practice of pathology and laboratory medicine. CAP is approved by the CMS, or Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and thus has the authority to inspect labs that are CLIA-certified (specific to labs subject to US regulations).
This federal agency issues a certificate of accreditation to labs performing complex, high proficiency testing—tests that require a higher level of expertise, education, and training.
CAP releases a detailed checklist for the applicants, including both general and specific guidelines. All the requirements must be fulfilled in order to meet the higher quality standard of laboratory practices than just CLIA compliance alone.
A general laboratory checklist is given when applying for CLIA, but during the accreditation process by CAP, a discipline-specific checklist is sent directly to the respective laboratory.
Unlike CLIA, the accreditation process by CAP involves a thorough inspection conducted by a CAP inspector, who is a peer from a CAP-accredited lab. The on-site inspection takes place every two years using CAP accreditation checklists and a self-inspection checklist every other year.
Accreditation by CAP has more stringent expectations for laboratory standards than CLIA due to the high-complexity test types involved. And because CAP accreditations tend to hold higher credibility than a certification, it can often be easier to attract funding or sponsors for projects.
Please note that the information provided in this blog is for informational purposes only. We do not offer certification or accreditation services. If you are interested in obtaining certification or accreditation, we recommend contacting the relevant program directly.
The College of American Pathologists (CAP) is an organization known to accredit testing laboratories and is closely involved in advances in medical and clinical studies. Its goal is to improve public health and patient safety. CAP Accreditation helps labs in:
In-depth checklist requirements
The CAP program provides an unparalleled checklist of requirements for applicants. With over 500 pathologists’ input, CAP accreditation checklists are more comprehensive, customized, and scientifically rigorous than other accreditors’ requirements.
Managing evolving changes in medicine and technology
CAP-accredited labs are driven to provide the highest quality of laboratory services and medical centers. The comprehensive use of testing techniques by CAP-accredited laboratories ensures the accurate generation of results that can add value to medical research. With advances in technology, the use of high-quality instruments by certified labs will contribute towards improved disease treatment and patient care.
Exchanging ideas and best practices among peers
The practice of CAP site inspections allows communication among peers of different CAP-accredited labs. As the inspection is conducted by a team of people with multidisciplinary backgrounds, it builds room for ideation and innovation. Additionally, becoming CAP-accredited opens up opportunities to collaborate with other CAP-accredited labs and professionals.
Professional development and learning opportunities
CAP provides numerous learning opportunities for laboratory staff and medical professionals through education and training resources. Not only is CAP an accreditation organization, but it’s also a network of like-minded professionals with resources for different professional development and learning opportunities.
Maintaining accurate test results and patient diagnosis
Accreditation by CAP is a symbol of high quality and precision. This promises accurate test results and ensures meticulous patient diagnosis.
Meeting the standards from FDA, OSHA, CLIA
The CAP program meets the rigorous standards required by the FDA, OSHA, and CLIA. In fact, CAP requirements actually often exceed these standards, ensuring excellent patient care and safety.
In order to be eligible to apply for a CAP accreditation, your lab must:
To learn more, visit www.cap.org.
The CAP LAP accreditation process comprises both the accreditation and the inspection cycle. A typical accreditation cycle spans over 2 years. The general process is as follows:
The flowchart below further illustrates the various steps involved in the cycle of CAP accreditation.
The complete laboratory accreditation manual is available here.
Thinking about leasing clinical or analytical equipment? Numerous CAP-accredited laboratories lease with Excedr to save both time and money. Browse your leasing options today!
CAP is an accreditation agency with the power to accredit laboratory testing performed on human samples, and specializes in quality control standards for medical and clinical laboratories.
While getting an accreditation can be time-consuming and challenging, it is critical that you do so. Running a healthcare company requires that the business meets the regulations and standards of organizations like CAP, as they are an attestation to the quality of laboratory practices and offer many advantages. Without the accreditation, you may very well limit your operating capabilities and hamstring your financial viability.
Excedr has a long track record of working with CAP-accredited organizations, as leasing is an excellent option for labs looking to acquire highly-sensitive, yet exorbitantly expensive, lab equipment.
With Excedr’s leasing program, laboratories can access the latest equipment without impeding their budget. By leasing the equipment you need, you can save on upfront costs, speed up your research and development, and reach milestones faster. Contact us today to learn more.