Laboratory Gets Highest Marks
September 30, 2008
Penobscot Valley Hospital in Lincoln is celebrating a victory. Earlier this month, the facility’s lab passed a federal “Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment” inspection with no deficiencies. CLIA is a law that defines safety standards and other rules on how laboratories across the nation must operate. The CLIA law defines who is allowed to work in labs, what testing can be done, and how that testing is performed.
“Our laboratory is highly regulated,” says PVH Lab Director Scott Warner. “The survey was very comprehensive, touching on most of the regulations, including quality control and personnel qualifications. This is separate from the survey the rest of the hospital underwent earlier this year.” This year’s hospital-wide survey was a success for PVH, as well, with only a handful of deficiencies—all of which were corrected in a matter of hours, none of which directly affected patient care.
Laboratories must have plans to make sure the people who perform the tests are competent, and all laboratories are required to submit testing data to the government. “Labs have to prove their results are accurate,” says Warner. “It’s more than just pushing buttons on machines. There’s a lot of judgment behind the scenes that patients might not know about.”
George Eyerer, M.D., is the PVH Laboratory Medical Director. “It is an exceptional achievement for a laboratory to have no inspection deficiencies or recommendations. I have never seen this in over 15 years as a practicing pathologist, and this is truly a reflection of the hard work and dedication of the technical staff in the laboratory.”
Eyerer went on to say that the lab staff is a talented group of individuals who deserve congratulations. “It also is in no small measure due to the talent and hard work that Scott Warner brings to his role as Laboratory Manager. Scott has been especially effective and instrumental in making important system improvements that have had a tremendous impact on improving the overall quality of laboratory medicine, which translates into improved patient care at Penobscot Valley Hospital. He is a fine example of the consummate administrative laboratorian, who is constantly assessing processes with a critical and informed eye and then making improvements, which have a beneficial effect.”
CEO Dave Shannon also praised the PVH Laboratory Department. “We’re very lucky to have staff members that are so committed to maintaining high standards, and it’s great to see state officials take notice of how hard they have worked.”
Picture Caption: PVH Technologist Nicole Piché plants a culture as
Laboratory Director Scott Warner watches.