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Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital Lab Quality and Safety in the Top 1 Percent Nationwide

SITKA – The SouthEast Alaska Regional Consortium (SEARHC) Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital (MEH) Laboratory recently had its biennial inspection by the College of American Pathologists (CAP). After a two-day visit from a CAP inspector, the MEH Laboratory inspection results showed it to be in the top 1 percent of labs nationwide.

The Laboratory excelled in all areas with the inspector finding no deficiencies in crucial areas of testing, including chemistry, hematology, microbiology, blood banking, and laboratory leadership. At the end of his assessment, the CAP inspector remarked on the excellent level of performance demonstrated over multiple inspections cycles by the Laboratory which in his opinion rank us among the top performing laboratories in the nation for quality and safety. He was very impressed by the lab’s quality initiatives and the optimization of the Laboratory Information System for quality performance.

Considered the gold standard of Laboratory Accreditation across the country, the Federal Government recognizes the CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program’s over 1000 standards, equal to, or more stringent than their own inspection program. Based on rigorous accreditation standards, CAP is an internationally recognized program and the only one of its kind using teams of practicing laboratory professionals as inspectors, going well beyond regulatory compliance. These strict standards help laboratories achieve the highest levels of excellence, which, in turn, positively impact patient care. Inspections occur every two years and determine the overall accreditation status of the laboratory. The MEH Laboratory has an excellent track record spanning multiple inspection cycles.

SEARHC Director of Laboratories, Constance Stager, MLS, MBA, and pathologist, James Tiesinga, MD oversee the Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital Laboratory.  Ms. Stager attributes her department’s stellar performance to strong collaborative relationships and a high level of respect that exists between the laboratory and the medical staff, nursing, surgical services, administration, SEARHC clinics, and other MEH departments.

“This would not be possible without the focus on quality that permeates the organization and is a priority in everything we do at SEARHC,” Ms. Stager said. “We are grateful to our dedicated team of Laboratory professionals, the strong support we receive from SEARHC Administration, and our incredible health care providers.”

Dr. Tiesinga added, “The results of this inspection demonstrate SEARHC’s emphasis on achieving the highest quality in all aspects of health care.”