CLIA Compliance and Cytogenetic Labs
Most labs today utilize the services of third-party cytogenetics labs, if not on a regular basis, at least on occasion. In fact, commercial labs are increasing the frequency of send-outs because they see increased efficiencies and quicker turn-around-time (TAT). In many cases, send-outs are far more cost-effective as well.
If you are considering sending out cytogenetic testing, you may find surprisingly beneficial results. Keep in mind; there are specific qualifications you will want to adhere to when selecting a lab for outsourcing. See below for several critical aspects you should confirm with any lab before beginning an engagement.
Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) compliance for cytogenetics labs is the industry standard and must be fully in effect for every location where a cytogenetic technologist is conducting testing. CLIA regulates high complexity laboratory testing such as cytogenetics and requires clinical laboratories to be certificated by their state if the state requires a license to operate before they can accept human samples for diagnostic testing.
Virtual Scientific’s cytogenetic technologists must work from their certified location only and are not permitted to conduct work in any other location. Top quality labs will have a method in place for validating the location of their technologists while working to ensure all CLIA requirements are met.
There is an additional accreditation from the College of American Pathologists (CAP) that you may hear about from some labs. At Virtual Scientific, we believe the true measure of a top-quality cytogenetic technologist is indicated by an ASCP certification. Our cytogenetic technologists are always ASCP certified, and our staff has a combined average of 18 years of experience in the field. They are all well-versed at handling even the most complex cases in an efficient manner. You can find more information on CLIA certification, including CLIA categorizations, on the CDC website.
To learn more about Virtual Scientific’s operating standards for cytogenetics labs, download the Executive Summary: “Avoid These Pitfalls of Setting Up a Virtual Cytogenetics Testing Lab.”