AABB, Bethesda, Md, and the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA), Frederick, Md, have launched the AABB/A2LA accreditation program, a clinical laboratory accreditation program that combines three assessments in one:
- AABB accreditation for facilities involved in blood banking, transfusion medicine, and related activities.
- Certification under the requirements of the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA).
- Accreditation to the medical laboratory quality systems standard compiled by the International Organization for Standardization, ISO 15189:2012.
The existing accreditation programs of AABB and A2LA are themselves recognized by the International Society for Quality in Healthcare and the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation, respectively.
“AABB and A2LA have more than 100 years of combined experience in helping organizations improve and achieve their quality and safety goals,” says Miriam A. Markowitz, CEO of AABB. “AABB’s accreditation process supports a quality management culture that generates commitment and accountability by encouraging innovation, education, and wide participation by clinical and technical team members.
“Our latest offering, the combined clinical laboratory accreditation program, drives operational excellence and is an important step for ensuring that clinical laboratories are prepared to provide the safest products, treatments, and services for patients,” Markowitz adds.
The AABB/A2LA accreditation program will provide laboratories with access to a unique combination of resources:
- Third-party review by assessors who are uniquely trained technical experts focused on quality.
- An accreditation program that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has three times granted ‘deemed status’ under CLIA.
- Assessment against an ISO standard that is not prescriptive, and can be implemented in accordance with the organization’s work culture and processes.
- Partners in accreditation who will offer an educational experience for laboratories navigating the ever-changing health delivery landscape.
“The benefit of a single assessment cannot be stressed enough,” says Peter Unger, president and CEO of A2LA. “There is less interruption to the laboratory’s work, and findings can be coordinated and addressed at one time, ultimately eliminating duplication of efforts and identifying opportunities for efficiency and quality enhancements.”
AABB and A2LA are independent, nonprofit, membership organizations with shared core values of continuous quality improvement and improved patient safety and outcomes. Established on the foundation of these values, the AABB/A2LA accreditation program will work in partnership with clinical laboratories, blood banks, and transfusion services to foster a culture of ongoing improvement and innovation.