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VVRMC Lab Receives College of American Pathologists (CAP) Accreditation

Thursday, November 9, 2017

A portion of Val Verde Regional Medical Center’s Laboratory

VVRMC Lab Receives College of American Pathologists (CAP) Accreditation

The laboratory at Val Verde Regional Medical Center conducts high complexity testing on a large variety of specimens. When you get blood drawn or provide aurine sample,chances are it winds up in the lab for testing.

According to VVRMC Lab Director, Gerry Fulton, “We are regularly inspected now but there were no standards for labs at all until 1988.” Since then, teams of pathologists and medical technologists are trained to conduct in depth laboratory inspections on behalf of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The inspections happen every two years. This week, a team of nine came unannounced to conduct an inspection. They closely examine every department within the lab to be sure they are up to par.

“The standards are high,” says Fulton, “there are set mandates which must be met to receive the accreditation. These include training, education, quality control, quality assurance – everything is regulated from top to bottom.”

Fulton credits his Quality Control Supervisor, Rosa Rubio and his entire lab staff with staying on top of the mandates and being constantly prepared for inspection. Her attention to the details, meticulous record keeping and plain hard work are the foundation for inspections. On the off years, the lab conducts a self-inspection to be sure the high standards are being consistently met.

Aside from the congratulations due for passing the accreditation process, it is interesting to note that VVRMC has a lab team trained to conduct inspections at other similar hospitals for CAP accreditation. In fact, Fulton is trained to be an independent inspector which means he can become a part of any team, anywhere. It is a brilliant system because knowing how to inspect another lab helps immensely in keeping the home lab inspection ready.

The community can rest assured when lab results are required, Val Verde Regional Medical Center has a lab with quality standards you can trust.