CLMA has joined forces with The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the second phase of a pilot study to help define and identify best practices in lab medicine.

The project’s overall goal is to enhance the practice of lab medicine by identifying ways to improve lab testing and services. Both organizations agree the results will be improvement in health care quality and patient safety in labs across America.

CLMA has given the CDC’s Division of Laboratory Systems access to its database of Good Practices information and to its membership to develop an evidence-based process for identifying and evaluating best practices.

CLMA designed its Good Practice Sharing (GPS) program in 2007. The program encourages members to share successful lab projects with other members in a database on its Web site.

The CDC initially launched the study of best practices in 2006. CLMA joins the study in Phase II, which includes reviewing and revising evaluation methods developed in Phase I. It also includes conducting two topic area pilot studies to assess the proposed process.

The agreement between the CDC and CLMA began January 1, 2008 and will last for at least one year. The memorandum of understanding, as the agreement is called, will allow for the recruitment of current CLMA members as potential participants in the CDC study.

The agreement stipulates that DLS and CLMA will work together to identify likely sources for the unpublished evidence DLS is seeking for two pilot studies; collect information from CLMA members on promising practices for which limited published evidence of effectiveness is available; compare multiple candidate practices associated with clearly defined demographics, criteria and outcomes; and assist laboratorians in assessing and selecting the most appropriate and effective practices for their institutions.

CLMA and DLS will also work together to develop an evaluation plan to assess the effectiveness of this collaboration.