October 12, 2020, 8:56 pm Cindy Borgmeyer– Every family physician in clinical practice knows that accurate laboratory testing results are critical to providing top-notch patient care. With a majority of FPs choosing to streamline care by performing many of their own lab tests, conducting proficiency testing using externally procured unknown specimens can provide them with an objective assessment of the accuracy of their lab staff and equipment.
As the only laboratory proficiency testing provider that focuses on the unique needs of these physician office labs, as well as on those of urgent care facilities and small hospital labs, AAFP Proficiency Testing is the quality assessment solution for family physicians’ lab testing needs.
That’s all the more critical in the era of COVID-19, when testing for the disease has taken a central role in tracking and curbing the pandemic. Fortunately, AAFP-PT now offers three distinct SARS-CoV2 proficiency tests to help meet that need. Those tests are
“With the heightened scrutiny of lab tests’ sensitivity and specificity, you can see how proficiency testing can aid in ensuring you are getting accurate test results with the test system used in your facility’s lab,” Christine Schimpf, manager of AAFP-Proficiency Testing, told AAFP News. “We know not all tests are made the same, and COVID tests have brought that to the forefront in many news articles these past several months. That’s why the AAFP is offering proficiency testing for the three methods available for SARS-CoV2.”
A comprehensive CMS/CLIA-approved program with more than a quarter-century of laboratory experience, AAFP-PT ships clinically relevant specimens to physicians enrolled in the program three times per year. But take note: Although the program accepts enrollments throughout the year, physicians need to complete that process by Nov. 1 to guarantee specimen availability in 2021.
Here are some of the other perks AAFP-PT offers:
Another popular resource AAFP-PT offers is the Physician’s Office Laboratory Microscopy Atlas.
Now in its fourth edition, the POL Microscopy Atlas contains more than 150 photos of cellular elements, such as urine sediments, vaginal wet preps, skin preps, nasal smears, various stool samples, Gram stains and more. Each photo is accompanied by a matching description and clinical associations. This valuable benchtop reference also features a number of procedures, including urine sediment, vaginal wet prep, and manual differentials.
“We hear from physicians and clients, ‘The POL Microscopy Atlas is an important and handy resource to have in the office. It has all the images I typically see on exam,’” Schimpf noted.
And as with all products and services the Academy provides for its members, you can expect to receive fast and friendly customer service and support from experienced staff. In fact, Schimpf added, “We also hear, ‘The customer service staff is excellent to work with; they really help and take time to explain next steps.’”
Visit AAFP-PT’s FAQ page to find out more about the program.