The Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA 88) is the federal law intended to ensure the accuracy, reliability, and timeliness of patient test results. To maintain their CLIA certification, labs which perform anything more complex than waived testing or provider-performed microscopy must be surveyed every two years by either CMS or a private accrediting organization like COLA. Additionally, California and several other states require surveys as part of their own state licensure requirements.
Biennial surveying presents a snapshot of quality at any given lab. The real challenge is to help laboratorians integrate quality policies and procedures into their daily operations. That’s why COLA is helping its clients move beyond the snapshot and towards a mindset emphasizing daily, continuous commitment to the highest quality standards.