Tips on non waived lab testing can be used by medical facilities developing procedures or improving quality assessment. Although this list is far from all inclusive of the CLIA regulations, it includes several major areas of consideration. Even an all comprehensive list would need to be adapted to meet the facility’s specific operations.
In the area of personnel it is important that the laboratory be able to document each employee’s education and licenses. The facility should have in place a method for training new employees. There must be annual competency testing for personnel.
Facilities need to have written instructions to collect and verify patient specimens, including the patient gender and age or date of birth. There must be safeguards in place to ensure correct labeling of each specimen. Panic numbers need to be in place and personnel should know what to do if these numbers are returned. Records must be kept in accordance with Medicare and legal guidelines.
The results of tests can affect the lives of other humans. Quality control must be kept as a top priority. When using installing new machines or changing brands of test kits results must be verifiable. Expiration dates on all reagents and kits must be observed, along with any changes in expiration upon opening.
To qualify for CLIA certification, the laboratory must provide proficiency testing. The proficiency testing samples should be treated the same as specimens from patients. They should be tested the same number of times and using the same methods.
In order to increase revenue and cut costs, many medical practices are reconsidering their decisions as to the tests to be done on site. Tips on non waived lab testing show these tests are more expensive and difficult, with more legal requirements. However, many medical care facilities find the benefits of quicker results, convenience for patients and increased revenue worth the trouble.
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