The Nebraska Public Health Laboratory (NPHL) recently underwent an inspection of its patient care, quality control, and other critical facets and was subsequently reaccredited by the College of American Pathologists.
The reaccreditation places the lab among 7,700 other accredited facilities globally.
The NPHL, located on the University of Nebraska Medical Campus (UNMC) Omaha campus, is a state public health lab administratively supported by UNMC but operating as a fee-for-service lab with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. It is a tester of human and, to a certain degree, environmental sources, and it also detects and monitors infectious disease outbreaks, bioterrorism, and chemical terrorism incidents.
“Adhering to accreditation standards is an ongoing daily function of the laboratory,” Pete Iwen, director of the NPHL, said. “The biennial inspection process is an additional activity that requires outside inspectors to audit the laboratory to make sure that federal requirements are followed.”
To be accredited the lab is inspected for its care of its patients, its records and quality control procedures are audited and its staff, equipment, facilities, programs, and management are all assessed. In passing the stringent inspection, the NPHL — which was the first state public health lab to test Ebola virus positive specimens in the U.S. during the 2014 outbreak — is able to continue its nationally critical work, which includes providing trainers for the National Ebola Training and Education Center.