American College of Physicians: Internal Medicine — Doctors for Adults ®

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College alliance can help you boost your lab profits

From the September ACP Observer, copyright 2004 by the American College of Physicians.

A recent alliance between ACP and a national lab accreditation organization can help College members improve the quality of their in-office laboratory services and make their labs more profitable.

The alliance between ACP's Medical Laboratory Evaluation (MLE) proficiency testing service and COLA, a nonprofit lab accrediting organization, expands the number of products and services available to College members. Those resources include online courses to help train you and your lab staff, and tools to help you assess your potential return on new lab tests.

Both ACP and COLA members receive a discount when they enroll in ACP's MLE service. That service now includes the following features:

  • LabUniversity. COLA's LabUniversity is online. offers many online courses for both formally trained clinical lab scientists and in-house trainees.

    The program includes laboratory director certification training for directors of moderately complex laboratories. The course can also fill in the gaps for physicians who received only cursory lab management training in medical school rotations.

    The curriculum covers how to introduce a new test into the lab; understand quality control and OSHA requirements, and assess basic quality.

    By investing in personnel training, you can eliminate excessive repeat patient testing and reduce unreliable results that must be sent to reference laboratories.

  • Laboratory accreditation. COLA is the premier independent medical laboratory education, consultation and accreditation organization. COLA helps medical labs of all sizes meet regulatory requirements using practical, educational standards that have a positive and immediate impact on patient care.

  • Proficiency testing. A recognized leader in lab proficiency testing, ACP's MLE provides high-quality testing material at competitive prices.

    MLE's technical support experts specialize in analyzing failed proficiency testing performances to pinpoint the source of lab testing errors.

    And MLE's upcoming 2005 catalog will feature savings for newly enrolled ACP and COLA members, as well as for current participants in the program.

  • ACP's Practice Management Center (PMC) offers educational articles on topics ranging from lab safety to current requirements under the federal Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments.

    The PMC also offers the Office Laboratory Check Up, a free, downloadable tool that helps you calculate cost and expense projections of new lab tests.

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