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First private laboratory accreditor receives state deeming authority



November 07, 2013
Area(s) of Interest: Accreditation Hospitals and Health Facilities 

COLA, a clinical laboratory accreditation organization, announced it has been awarded "deemed" status by Laboratory Field Services (LFS) in the State of California. Clinical laboratories can now demonstrate compliance with federal state and federal laboratory licensure laws and regulations through COLA accreditation. COLA is the first private clinical laboratory accreditor to receive deemed status in the state. 

COLA’s deemed authority was granted in accordance with a law enacted in California in 2009 that permits private accreditors to apply to the state for approval if they demonstrate standards equal to or more stringent than the state’s requirements for licensure and registration.

COLA was granted deemed status following an extensive review by LFS, during which the accreditor was able to demonstrate that it had synchronized its standards with California’s unique laws and regulations. The approval process included a detailed analysis of COLA’s policies and standards, survey forms and guidelines, surveying and deficiency writing policies, surveyor qualifications, complaint investigation policies, proficiency test monitoring policies, process for accrediting new labs and procedures when laboratories are deemed noncompliant.

"We’re very pleased that LFS has approved COLA to offer laboratory accreditation services to hospitals, physician offices and independent laboratories in the State of California,"" said Douglas Beigel, chief executive officer of COLA. A number of other accrediting organizations have also applied for deemed status in California.

"Permitting private accreditors like COLA to perform surveys will help the state to perform its important lab oversight role with all appropriate vigor, while allowing labs to operate in an environment of transparency, and patients and doctors to use them with confidence," said Beigel. "Long term, we hope to work with other laboratory accreditation organizations to further strengthen the lab medicine community and its dedication to patient care and safety."

For more information about COLA accreditation services, educational products, and online educational opportunities, visit www.cola.org.

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