The Outer Banks Hospital Clinical laboratory has been awarded an accreditation by the Commission on Laboratory Accreditation of the College of American Pathologists (CAP) based on the results of a recent on-site inspection.

Debra Johnson, Director of Diagnostics at the hospital, was advised of this national recognition and congratulated for the “excellence of the services being provided.” The Outer Banks Hospital Clinical Laboratory is one of the more than 6,000 CAP-accredited laboratories nationwide.

The CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program, begun in the early 1960’s, is recognized by the federal government as being equal to or more stringent than the government’s own inspection program.

During the CAP accreditation process, inspectors examine the laboratory’s records and quality control of procedures for the preceding two years. CAP inspectors also examine the entire staff’s qualifications, the laboratory’s equipment, facilities, safety program and record, as well as the overall management of the laboratory. This stringent inspection program is designed to specifically ensure the highest standard of care for the laboratory’s patient.

“Our pathologists, laboratory technologists and technicians often identify disease in its earliest stages,” said Van Smith, the hospital’s president. “They work behind-the-scenes, performing and interpreting tests that save lives and keep people healthy." Laboratory tests results comprise an estimated 70% of the patient’s medical records and are vital to the diagnosis and treatment of illness and disease.

The Outer Banks laboratory is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Since the hospital opened in March 2002, the laboratory has performed more than 457,000 tests and administered over 1,800 units of blood. “We play a fundamental role in returning patients to good health,” said Johnson. “Generally, the earlier a condition is detected, the greater the likelihood of a cure.”