In both the inpatient and outpatient settings, the laboratory has supplied 24 hour urine containers with preservative such as acetic acid, sodium hydroxide, and boric acid. Upon review of specimen stability requirements, it has been determined that a preservative is not needed prior to collection of most 24 hour urine tests as long as the 24 hour container is kept refrigerated or on ice during the collection period.
The Laboratories at Spectrum Health recently passed a systemwide inspection from the College of American Pathologists (CAP). Fifteen inspectors from four different laboratories around the country inspected our main regional laboratory here in Grand Rapids as well as our laboratories at Big Rapids, Gerber, Blodgett, Kelsey, Ludington, Pennock, Reed City, United and Zeeland.
The College of American Pathologists is considered the gold standard for assessing quality lab work. The CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program began in the early 1960’s and is recognized by the federal government as being equal to or more stringent than the government’s own inspection program. It is a peer-review process where laboratories are inspected by their peers every two years.
During the accreditation process, inspectors spent four days and traveled over 550 miles examining laboratory records, quality-control procedures, qualifications of staff, equipment, facilities, safety programs, and overall management at each of our laboratories. This included reviewing many of our 8289 standards. Although our Grand Rapids laboratories were inspected by CAP early last spring, and many of our community hospital labs were evaluated separately over the last two years, this was the first time our system was inspected as a whole.
Spectrum Health Laboratory is one of more than 7,700 CAP –accredited laboratories worldwide! CAP inspections promote better patient care by constantly challenging laboratories to improve; ensure the highest quality standards are maintained and that results are reported to healthcare providers accurately and in a timely manner.
Congratulations to all of our Laboratories and Staff!