RE: CAP (Inspectors) - who and why
The CAP inspectors are a team of pathologists and technologists, usually
from other hospitals. So they are clued in as to what is going on and what
is expected. Sometimes you get the idea that they do this to get ideas for
their own labs (one inspector asked for copies of most of my manual!) The
inspector may be a veteran or an neophyte. Either can be good or bad in
different ways. Veteran inspectors tend to have pet areas they pick to
death. Neophytes tend to stick to the "letter of the law."
The reason the inspection is such a hassle is that the "questionnaire" that
they use is quite vague in many ways. You get the idea that the CAP makes up
questions about some topic just to see what solutions labs come up with to
meet the requirements! Later they will modify the requirements to be more
specific. That is why you will often see people on histonet asking what a
certain question "means," because the requirements are often so vague as to
be meaningless. Also, the CAP attempts to force standardization for some
things by putting in requirements for this or that without asking anyone how
it might actually affect lab operation. Then labs are scrambling to try to
meet the requirement and still operate in the real world. So, CAP
inspections are always stressfull, not because your lab may be substandard
but because the inspector may or may not stress some vague requirement in
some way that you never anticipated.
Veteran of 20 years of CAP inspections!
From: J. A. Kiernan [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, May 15, 2002 12:28 AM
Subject: Re: CAP (Inspectors)
We histonetters hear quite a lot about the
dreaded CAP inspectors, but those of us not
subject to the College of American Pathologists
do not meet them. Could someone tell us outsiders
who these people are? Are they pathologists with
medical degrees and postgraduate training? If so,
why are they dreaded and reviled? If they are
not trained in pathology, why does a college of
pathologists hire them to inspect labs that do
work for pathologists?
Many more questions could be asked about how
someone qualifies to be hired as a lab inspector,
but I've probably asked enough already!
John A. Kiernan
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology
The University of Western Ontario
London, Canada N6A 5C1
David Anderson wrote:
> I just went through my first CAP inspection since returning to the US.
> I mean no disrespect to the inspectors, they were pleasant enough people,
> but, when all is said and done, I would rather have been back in the
> East facing a suicide bomber.
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