AABB and A2LA Form Laboratory Accreditation Partnership

By Kelly A. Briganti, Editorial Director, G2 Intelligence

Providing laboratories with a three-for-one assessment opportunity to streamline their accreditation processes, the AABB and the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) have partnered to provide a joint accreditation program. A2LA is an independent nonprofit accrediting body that assesses competence of laboratories as well as proficiency testing providers and other entities. AABB provides accreditation programs for entities involved in transfusion medicine, cellular therapies, and patient blood management.

The joint program will assess laboratories according to AABB accreditation standards, International Organization for Standardization 15189:2012, and the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) requirements. In a statement announcing the partnership, AABB’s Chief Executive Officer Miriam A. Markowitz asserted this “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.”

Touting the efficiencies afforded laboratories by the joint accreditation, A2LA President and Chief Executive Officer Peter Unger explained in a statement that the program means “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.”

The organizations also claim the program’s benefits include application of ISO standards with recognition of the organization’s “work culture and processes,” educational opportunities for laboratories, and assessment by “uniquely trained technical experts.” The accreditation also receives Deemed Status from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

AABB also separately announced this month a partnership with The Joint Commission for a joint hospital certification program for patient blood management, beginning in 2016.

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