James LigginsMay 6, 2016




Contact: Melissa Nichols • Alvare Associates • 610-520-6140 x 204 •


Accreditor Also Offers Tips on How to Avoid Problems on Lab Surveys

 Columbia, MD– COLA Resources Inc. (CRI®), a national laboratory accreditor and an advocate for quality in laboratory medicine and patient care, released a list of the 10 most frequently cited reasons for laboratory citations by its surveyors. The results are based on surveys of COLA-accredited labs conducted from June 1, 2014 to June 1, 2015.

The problem cited most often was a lack of acceptable competency assessments on all applicable staff. Other top reasons spanned a variety of survey categories, such as not following manufacturer instructions; not monitoring quality control by reviewing data weekly; not implementing IQCP, or alternatively, reverting to the regulatory requirement for QC; and, for Lab Directors, not fulfilling Proficiency Testing and Quality Control/Quality Assessment responsibilities.

The complete list includes:

  1. Lack of acceptable competency assessments on all applicable staff
  2. Lab Director not obtaining a minimum of 4 lab-related continuing education credits every two years
  3. Not implementing IQCP or reverting to the regulatory requirement for QC
  4. Not following manufacturer instructions for QC on waived tests
  5. Lab Director not fulfilling the Proficiency Testing responsibilities of the position
  6. Lack of documentation that demonstrates that Proficiency Testing results were reviewed with the lab staff
  7. Lab Director not fulfilling the Quality Control and Quality Assessment responsibilities of the position
  8. Technical Consultant not fulfilling the responsibilities of the position
  9. Not performing calibration verification as required
  10. Monitoring quality control by plotting and reviewing data weekly

“While some of these citations are more serious than others, the reality is that all are avoidable by first completing the COLA voluntary self-assessment before a survey is conducted,” said James Liggins, CRI Chief Executive Officer. “This review provides laboratories with the guidance and tools they need to ensure accurate test results, run their laboratory in accordance with quality systems, and meet CLIA requirements, thereby helping to avoid citations.”

Additional training resources, including more than 90 webinars and online courses that help labs avoid common citations, are available at CRI’s distance learning site, A 25 percent discount applies to educational offerings in each subject area that are designed to eliminate future citations.  Discounts are limited time offers. Visit CRI’s website, Facebook or Twitter for more information.

“It’s important for laboratories to utilize all the CRI tools available to them so they can avoid citations and ensure they are providing quality patient care,” Liggins said.  “In doing so, they can meet the high standards doctors expect and patients deserve.”

About COLA Resources, Inc. (CRI)

CRI is a leader in online continuing education for physicians, laboratory personnel and allied health professionals. CRI offers continuing education through online courses, informational products in both electronic and hard copy form, webinars on cutting-edge technology and regulatory issues, and CRI on-site Symposia for Clinical Laboratories, providing live educational sessions and interactive workshops with leading industry organizations. For more information, visit their website at or call 1-800-981-9883.




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