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NARH Laboratory accredited
Sep 09, 2013

(Sept. 9, 2013) North Adams Regional Hospital’s Laboratory has earned accreditation from the College of American Pathologists for two more years.  The NARH Lab has maintained accreditation by the College of American Pathologists (CAP) for more than 40 consecutive years.  


The accreditation means the NARH Laboratory meets stringent CAP standards for performance.  CAP inspectors visited the hospital in March, and the hospital recently received official notification of the accreditation.


“Our staff once again demonstrated the excellence they strive for every day in the Lab, the result being another great survey,” said Deborah August, MD, Medical Director of the NARH Lab. “Accreditation for more than forty years is an outstanding record and I personally thank every one of our staff members.”


During the CAP accreditation process, inspectors examine the laboratory’s records and quality control of procedures for the preceding two years.  CAP inspectors also examine the entire staff’s qualifications, the laboratory’s equipment, facilities, safety program and record, as well as the overall management of the laboratory. This stringent inspection program is designed to specifically ensure the highest standard of care for the laboratory’s patients.


The lab also takes part in proficiency surveys for all laboratory tests performed at NARH. Those tests involve samples that must be processed like any other sample.


NARH has participated in the voluntary CAP accreditation process since 1970.  “We take on this voluntary challenge to make sure we’re meeting the highest expectations,” said Dr. August.  “It helps to identify potential problems and allows us to exchange ideas and solutions with other CAP-accredited labs.”


NARH’s laboratory performs about 300,000 tests each year with a staff of 28, including pathologists, phlebotomists, histologists, cytologists, and a team of medical technologists who perform testing in the areas of chemistry, hematology, microbiology, serology and transfusion services.  The lab’s blood bank prepares for transfusion blood and blood products from the American Red Cross and Berkshire Medical Center.


CAP surveys more than 7,000 laboratories in the U.S. each year, using teams of inspectors who remain active in pathology and laboratory medicine. The CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program, begun in the early 1960s, is recognized by the federal government as being equal to or more stringent than the government’s own inspection program.


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