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Advancing standards in laboratory medicine and pathology through professional credentials.



Healthcare is experiencing a dire want for medical professionals. The scarcity within the workforce is especially regarding given their important function in healthcare. Laboratory professionals are answerable for conducting a variety of checks that inform 70% of medical selections, from the analysis of ailments to the dedication of remedy plans. (1) The shortage of ample and competent laboratory professionals results in delays in analysis and remedy, impacting affected person care and outcomes. (2)

Due partially to the continued impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, an growing older workforce, recruitment and retention challenges, evolving technological developments in laboratory drugs, and different elements, important shortages of personnel within the international medical laboratory workforce has turn out to be outstanding. (2)

As difficult as these points are, additionally they current prospects for progress and innovation in laboratory drugs and pathology. As decision-makers in any respect ranges search and implement multi-faceted options, leveraging credentials comparable to these supplied by the American Society for Scientific Pathology, Board of Certification (ASCP BOC) is rising as a key technique. (3) This technique not solely enhances skilled abilities however opens new avenues for recruitment and retention.

Utilizing skilled credentials as an answer to those points ensures the upkeep of excessive requirements in laboratory drugs and aids in enhancing the career’s enchantment and recognition. Because the healthcare panorama continues to evolve, addressing this scarcity is crucial for sustaining the efficacy and high quality of world well being methods.

The function of the ASCP BOC

The ASCP BOC is a laboratory skilled credentialing company with almost a century’s legacy, having been established in 1928. Over this era, the ASCP BOC has credentialed greater than 625,000 laboratory professionals worldwide, upholding its mission to offer excellence in certification of laboratory professionals on behalf of sufferers globally. The credentialing portfolio supplied by the ASCP BOC spans 26 distinctive examinations for laboratory leaders in any respect ranges, supporting phlebotomists who’ve direct interactions with sufferers by way of PhD scientists who lead excessive complexity laboratories. In 2006, the ASCP BOC started certifying laboratory professionals with a world” [ASCP.sup.i] “designation. The [ASCP.sup.i] initiative has seen widespread adoption, with candidates spanning 130 nations and, to this point, greater than 22,000 people from 117 nations incomes ASCP credentials. (4)

The significance of credentials for medical laboratory professionals

Credentials for medical laboratory professionals are a testomony to their competence and proficiency. They show that people have undergone rigorous training, coaching, and experiential assessments and have met established requirements of information and abilities. That is significantly essential in a area the place precision and accuracy are paramount. Laboratory errors can have dire penalties on affected person analysis and remedy, making the function of credentialed professionals indispensable. (5) Credentialed laboratory professionals be certain that laboratory checks, which kind the idea of a good portion of medical selections, are correct and dependable.

Furthermore, within the realm of healthcare, belief is an important commodity. When medical workers and sufferers are conscious that laboratory professionals are credentialed, it instills confidence within the check outcomes and diagnoses derived from these laboratories. This belief shouldn’t be solely important for affected person care but additionally for the sleek functioning of the whole healthcare system. (6)

One other facet the place credentials play a pivotal function is in regulatory compliance and high quality assurance. Many healthcare laws and requirements mandate that people performing laboratory checks be correctly credentialed. This compliance is important for laboratories not simply to function legally but additionally to take part in insurance coverage packages, together with these funded by the federal government. (3)

Moreover, credentialing can considerably influence dynamics of the medical laboratory skilled workforce. It offers a transparent pathway for profession development {and professional} progress, which is essential for attracting and retaining expertise within the area. It additionally mandates steady training {and professional} growth, guaranteeing that laboratory professionals keep abreast of the newest applied sciences and procedures. (3) This steady studying surroundings fosters skilled satisfaction and job satisfaction, that are important in lowering turnover charges.

U.S. & international workforce challenges

In line with the ASCP BOC’s 2022 [ASCP.sup.i] Survey, many laboratories around the globe report difficulties in filling open positions. (7) In america, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Division of Labor forecasts an 11 % progress in employment for medical laboratory scientists, technologists, and technicians from 2020 to 2030, surpassing the common progress price for all occupations. (2) Regardless of this optimistic job outlook, a current report by the ASCP and the College of Washington Middle for Well being Workforce Research warns of an impending improve in laboratory workforce shortages. (2) This anticipated rise is attributed to rising demand for laboratory companies, restricted alternatives for training and coaching, and challenges in recruiting and retaining laboratory personnel. (2)

Challenges comparable to these influence the general high quality of affected person care and the effectiveness of laboratory operations. These credential examinations are a cheap approach to make sure that laboratory professionals who cross are competent, educated, and centered on delivering high-quality, secure affected person care. The ASCP BOC’s examinations are consistently being reviewed by ASCP BOC group members to make sure examination content material displays the rigor of present observe and is truthful for all check takers.

To handle the scarcity in america and globally, the article “Extreme Shortages of Certified Medical Laboratory Professionals” means that hiring certified, board-certified laboratory professionals is essential. (8) For rising U.S. laboratory professionals, this includes taking a credential examination upon commencement to attain board certification. Many medical and pathology laboratory employers additionally present on-the-job coaching, which boosts the formal credentialing course of. This mix of sensible expertise and credentials gives a strong basis for profession success, enhancing abilities, data, and contributing to the enlargement of the laboratory workforce.

The contribution {of professional} credentials to the laboratory area is additional evidenced by a 2019 survey by the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE). This intensive survey, involving greater than 12,000 credential holders from six organizations, aimed to evaluate attitudes and experiences concerning certification examinations and credentialing. (3) The findings revealed that the respondents view certification (i.e., credentials) as extremely priceless to their career, with certification necessities seen as applicable, and the ethics and code of conduct set by certifying our bodies as helpful. Furthermore, credentialing is taken into account essential for enhancing competence and efficiency within the career. (3)

Internationally, the ASCP BOC additionally champions competency-based exams by acknowledged credentialing our bodies. Its credentials are acknowledged in varied areas, together with the Center East & North Africa, Latin America, and Asia. (9) Growing international requirements in credentialing helps assure that laboratory practices meet worldwide security and accuracy benchmarks, which is important for efficient illness analysis and administration. It additionally aids in responding to international well being workforce shortages by guaranteeing the supply and distribution of extremely expert professionals throughout varied geographical areas, thereby contributing considerably to sustaining international well being requirements and successfully delivering healthcare companies.

Inclusion, variety, fairness, and entry (IDEA)

Within the medical laboratory and pathology professions, sustainability transcends mere ecological concerns. It crucially contains the dimension of social sustainability, which is central to cultivating a resilient, competent workforce amidst prevalent challenges comparable to workforce migration and expertise deficits. Efficient laboratories are people who combine methods comparable to continuous skilled growth, profession development pathways anchored in specialist or extra {qualifications}, the nurturing of a optimistic office tradition, and the encouragement of a harmonious work-life steadiness. (10) These methods are instrumental in not solely retaining adept personnel but additionally in attracting new expertise, thereby enhancing total worker contentment.

The pillars of inclusion, variety, fairness, and entry (IDEA) are crucial for the cultivation of a sustainable workforce in laboratories. By fostering an surroundings that embraces variety and ensures accessibility, laboratories can entry a wider spectrum of expertise, reflective of the various communities and affected person populations they serve. The implementation of equitable practices, comparable to equal remuneration for comparable work and equal alternatives for profession development, is pivotal in sustaining a various and gifted workforce.

Credentials play an indispensable function in advancing IDEA throughout the laboratory workforce. By providing a uniform evaluation {of professional} abilities and data, these credentials be certain that all practitioners are evaluated solely on their experience, no matter their background. This technique of goal analysis upholds the ideas of fairness, accessibility, and equity throughout the office, fostering a extra inclusive and equitable surroundings.

Transferring ahead

Laboratory skilled credentials supplied by the ASCP BOC play a pivotal function in addressing the worldwide workforce scarcity in medical and pathology laboratories. By its credentials, the ASCP BOC not solely standardizes and enhances the skilled abilities of laboratory employees but additionally opens new avenues for recruitment and retention.

Key methods for efficient laboratory operations embrace steady skilled growth and clear profession development paths linked to credentials, comparable to these supplied by the ASCP BOC. Stacking, or gaining extra credentials, together with turning into licensed as a specialist in a specific space, can lend to those clear pathways. These methods assist foster a optimistic office tradition and promote a work-life steadiness and are important for retaining expert workers and attracting new expertise, finally resulting in larger worker satisfaction.

Moreover, the ideas of IDEA are integral to making a sustainable, resilient workforce. By offering a uniform evaluation of abilities and data, the ASCP BOC’s credentials promote equity and fairness within the laboratory career, guaranteeing that professionals are evaluated primarily based on their experience, no matter their background. In abstract, the development of requirements in laboratory drugs and pathology by way of skilled credentials not solely addresses instant workforce challenges but additionally units the muse for a globally competent, numerous, and sustainable healthcare system sooner or later.


(1.) Strengthening medical laboratories. Printed November 15, 2018. Accessed December 20, 2023. strengthening-clinical-labs.html.

(2.) Garcia E, Kundu I, Fong Ok. The American Society for Scientific Pathology’s 2021 Wage Survey of Medical Laboratories in america. Am J Clin Pathol. 2022;1;158(61:702-722. doi:10.1093/ajcp/aqac116.

(3.) Worth of Certification: Multi-Group Survey of Credential Holders. Institute for Credentialing Excellence.; 2019.

(4.) Spiczka A, Sreckovic A. Biannual Report on Examinees and Certifications For [ASCP.sup.i]. American Society for Scientific Pathology, Board of Certification. 2023.

(5.) Mrazek C, Lippi G, Keppel MH, et al. Errors throughout the whole laboratory testing course of, from check choice to medical decision-making–A evaluation of causes, penalties, surveillance and options. Biochem Med (Zagreb). 2020;15;30(2):020502. doi:10.11613/BM.2020.020502.

(6.) Cope EL, Khan M, Millender S. Belief In Well being Care: Insights From Ongoing Analysis. Well being Affairs Printed. Printed on-line 2022.

(7.) Baker J, Spiczka A. [ASCP.sup.i] Survey. American Society for Scientific Pathology, Board of Certification.

(8.) Robinson AT Healthcare: Extreme shortages of certified medical laboratory professionals. Biomed J SciTech Res. 2023;48(3):39710-39713. doi: 10.26717/bjstr.2023.48.007651.

(9.) Board of Certification. International locations with ASCP BOC Authorities Recognition. American Society for Scientific Pathology, Board of Certification. 2023.

(10.) Garcia E, Kundu I, Kelly M, et al. The American Society for Scientific Pathology’s Job Satisfaction, Properly-Being, and Burnout Survey of Laboratory Professionals. Am J Clin Pathol. 2020;9;153(4):470-486. doi:10.1093/ajcp/aqaa008.

Joseph B. Baker, MS is the Director, Engagement & Expertise for ASCP Board of Certification (BOC). Me leads the ASCP BOC’s constituent and stakeholder outreach actions. He has numerous expertise, together with roles with the Indianapolis Mayor’s Workplace, Indiana State Division of Well being, and a background in quantitative historic evaluation, communication, and journalism, with tutorial experience associated to the social and financial influence of power illness on Indigenous American populations.

Amy Spiczka, MS, HTL[(ASCP).sup.CM]SCT, [MB.sup.CM], CPHQ at present serves because the American Society of Scientific Pathology (ASCP) Board of Certification (BOC) Government Director. Ms. Spiczka offers oversight of and engagement for 26 credentials supplied globally in 130 nations spanning the whole laboratory drugs and pathology spectrum. She is a patient-centric advocate for the laboratory skilled workforce, because the ASCP BOC collaboratively offers examinations and credentials throughout the whole thing of the laboratory-specific healthcare continuum.

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