This activity originally released as Good Laboratory Decisions for Better Patient Care and was available between December 12, 2019, and December 12, 2022. The content was reviewed in April 2022.
NOTE: This course includes 2021 CAP accreditation checklist requirements. Please check your current CAP accreditation checklists for the most recent updates.
In this activity, we work on the premise that the “test” is the fundamental operational unit of the laboratory and that test data provides critical information on how well the lab is performing and consequently on the quality of patient care provided. The careful analysis of this data and your medical knowledge are keys to making decisions about the scope and quality of laboratory services. Through situational scenarios, you will consider several aspects of laboratory services, including reporting results, choosing a reference lab, analyzing test utilization, responding to new test requests, and validating new tests. The activity includes a 7-question assessment.
After completing this activity, you should be able to:
- Describe the laboratory medical director’s (LMDs) role in ensuring all phases of laboratory testing are properly performed.
- Explain specimen collection, and the importance of correct patient identification as a part of the preanalytical phase of laboratory testing.
- Illustrate the role of a laboratory medical director as a consultant in test interpretation as a part of the postanalytical phase of laboratory testing.
- Discuss how the test results are presented and the elements of a test report.
- Identify the criteria for selecting a reference laboratory.
- Use relevant data to assess the value and appropriateness of laboratory testing to improve patient care and enhance laboratory services.
- Explain how to form a test utilization committee and its functions.
- Describe the process to review new and current laboratory tests to determine if they meet clinical needs while acknowledging laboratory resources.
- Discuss the LMD’s role in new test verification or validation studies.
D. Robert Dufour, MD, FCAP
Edward P. Fody, MD, FCAP
Frederick L. Kiechle, MD, PhD
Kent B. Lewandrowski, MD
Deborah A. Perry, MD, FCAP
Stephen J. Sarewitz, MD, FCAP
Accreditation: The College of American Pathologists (CAP) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
CME Category 1: The College of American Pathologists designates this internet enduring material educational activity for a
maximum of 1.5
AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
CE (Continuing Education for nonphysicians): The CAP designates this educational activity for a maximum of 1.5 credit(s) of continuing education. Participants should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
This activity is approved for continuing education credit in the states of California and Florida.
The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) Board of Certification (BOC) Certification Maintenance Program (CMP) accepts this activity to meet the continuing education requirements.
To pay with a check, print a copy of this page and send it with your check to the address below. You will be notified when your payment has been processed and you have been registered into the activity.
College of American Pathologists
325 Waukegan Road
Northfield, IL 60093-2750
Refunds will be handled on an exception basis. Please submit your request to the CAP in writing via email at
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This activity and evaluation are available December 13, 2022, and expire December 12, 2025, at 12:00 AM (ET). You must claim credit by this date and time.