What Is CAP Accreditation, and How Does It Apply to Your Autotransfusion Services?

The College of American Pathologists (CAP) has an accreditation program for laboratories to ensure quality standards are being met and maintained. Along with the Association for the Advancement of Blood and Biotherapies (AABB) and the Joint Commission, CAP requires accredited hospitals to monitor the usage of blood and blood components in order to improve care.

Autotransfusion is not a new practice, but more standards have been put in place over the past 20 years to standardize techniques for quality. It is important these standards are followed and staff are well-trained to facilitate autotransfusion. While autotransfusion is most simply defined as recycling the patient’s own blood back to them — as opposed to a blood transfusion, where a patient receives donor blood — the process is often more complex than just returning blood. Blood is washed and filtered prior to being reinfused, which requires training and is not intuitive or easy.

Autotransfusion technicians and equipment need to be assessed for patient safety. CAP is one of the organizations that conducts testing for transfusion medicine.

What Does CAP Require?

CAP accreditation is a multi-step process and occurs every two years. When a lab applies, CAP provides them with customized checklists prior to inspection. The lab team has an opportunity to fulfill the requirements, then a CAP inspection team arrives to assess the lab. If deficiencies are found, the lab team has 30 days to correct them. A CAP specialist reviews the lab’s responses, and accreditation is considered. If the lab is accredited, it receives a certificate; inspections are conducted every two years and, on the off year, the lab is required to self-inspect.

CAP helps hospitals maintain regulatory compliance and adhere to current best practices, fostering an atmosphere of continuous improvement. They ensure test results are accurate for appropriate patient diagnosis and better outcomes, help labs stay up to date with new technology and innovations in medicine, and provide opportunities for professional growth. In having high standards, they allow hospitals to stay current with the standards of other organizations such as CLIA, the FDA, and OSHA.

Become CAP Accredited in Autotransfusion with SpecialtyCare

If your hospital is seeking CAP accreditation for autotransfusion services, SpecialtyCare can help. Not only can we provide qualified autotransfusion technicians, but we can also assist your lab in meeting and maintaining the standards that CAP requires. If you’re interested in becoming an autotransfusion technician, we can provide training that will help you pursue a career in a specialty that is increasingly in demand. Contact us today to learn more!