As Laboratory and Radiology Services Manager for Tidewater Physician Multispecialty Group (TPMG) in Newport News, VA, Angela DeRossett oversees all high-complexity and waived testing operations for the practice’s 30 offices. She’s particularly proud of the lab’s excellent results during its most recent COLA inspection, since it occurred shortly after major changes had taken place at the laboratory.
“In the prior six months, we installed four new analyzers and had significant staff changes,” explained DeRossett. “But we still achieved a perfect score.”
DeRossett attributes TPMG’s good performance to the lab’s commitment to quality operations as well as to the educational, informative approach that COLA surveyor Leon Headley used during the process. “I had the sense that COLA’s goal in this survey was not to be punitive, but simply to be sure were doing all that we can to be operating as a quality laboratory,” she said. “Not only did our surveyor point out areas that we should be paying special attention to, but he also shared the experiences of other laboratories, which I found very helpful.”
Prior to the survey, DeRossett made use of a COLA self-assessment tool which is available on COLACentral.org, a web portal which provides a variety of helpful electronic tools, giving laboratory personnel the ability to manage regulatory compliance requirements electronically instead of having to rely on manual processes. From their desktop, managers can update their laboratory’s profile with the click of a few buttons instead of having to fill out, fax and file paper records. They also can use the tool to view news alerts and survey results, prepare for upcoming compliance surveys and receive support for a wide range of laboratory needs.
“It’s not that our lab has never received a citation during an inspection,” DeRossett said. “But if you can demonstrate that you are doing all that you can to run a quality lab based on COLA’s standards, you will be successful.