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The NAACLS News

Your home base for all NAACLS announcements, news and special features

By Dianne M. Cearlock, MT, PhD, Chief Executive Officer

Board Supports Position Paper

As a result of schedule variations brought about by the pandemic, the NAACLS Board of Directors held an additional meeting this year with a limited agenda. At the January 11, 2021 meeting of the NAACLS Board of Directors, in addition to accreditation awards recommended by the Review Committee on Accredited Programs (RCAP), the following item was addressed:

The white paper entitled, “Standardizing the Professional Title of Medical Laboratory Professionals,” a position paper of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (ASCLS) and the American Society for Clinical Pathology Board of Certification (ASCP BOC), was reviewed. Following discussion, the NAACLS Board of Directors voted to support this position paper. The position paper may be accessed on the NAACLS website.

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by Sally Pestana, MT (ASCP)

Many of you reading this were with me in sunny Orlando a year ago for CLEC 2020.  While there may have been a few in attendance who had an inkling of the potential impact the novel Corona virus was to bring to the United States, the vast majority of us had no idea of the way the virus was about to turn our professional and personal lives upside down and inside out in less than thirty days from our time together in Orlando.

I left Orlando to participate in two NAACLS MLT program accreditation visits on the east coast before returning home to Hawaii.  On Thursday, March 5th, I had an intriguing, but somewhat cryptic email from the largest healthcare provider for Hawaii notifying me and my educator colleagues that student clinical experiences throughout that healthcare system were likely to be “impacted” in the upcoming weeks as the clinical partner tried to shore up their PPE reserves.  While I read it, and thought I understood it, I actually had no idea of how important the “shoring up” would become, and how impactful it would be for the students in so many of my college’s health education programs – within a short couple of weeks.

On Friday, March 6th, while waiting for the exit interview to start during my final accreditation visit, the health Dean of that east coast college reported to those assembling about an email she had received that morning from a large healthcare group in her city, with the same message I had read the evening before.  I remember thinking, “How BIG is this problem”?  Looking back, it now feels as if I had the tiniest “preview of coming attractions” with those two emails.

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NAACLS is offering many exciting virtual events next week, and we hope you will join us!

Let’s Take a Ride Through the NAACLS Standards 

Workshop Webinar; Wednesday, 2/24/21, 7:30am-4:00pm CT.

The purpose of this workshop is to explore the flexibility of the NAACLS Accreditation Process and Standards to ensure programs continue to meet the compliance requirements while adapting and innovating. This workshop will include actual innovative examples used by NAACLS accredited programs.

NAACLS has extended its workshop registration deadline to Friday, 2/19/21, at 5:00 pm CT! 

Please visit https://naacls.org/ for more information and to register! The cost is $250 per person (payments must be received by Friday, so please pay by credit card).

This workshop is being offered solely by NAACLS. You do not need to be a registrant of CLEC 2021 to attend the workshop.

If you are attending CLEC 2021, we invite you to these NAACLS events that are part of CLEC (these events are only open to registrants of CLEC):

Coffee with NAACLS

Thursday, 2/25/21, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm CT.

Join NAACLS review committee members and staff for an informal and free virtual get-together to ask questions about NAACLS Standards and Policies. There is an attendee limit of 85. 

Have a burning question you don’t want to forget? Feel free to ask now

NAACLS Virtual Booths

Stop by the NAACLS virtual booth to meet NAACLS staff and volunteers who are looking forward to answering any questions you may have:

  • Thursday, 2/25/21, 3:15pm – 4:45pm CT
  • Friday, 2/26/21, 11:15am – 1:00pm CT
  • Friday, 2/26/21, 3:15pm – 4:45pm CT

NAACLS Update

We hope you will watch the NAACLS Update given by Dr. Peter Hu, President, Board of Directors. ASCLS will provide a link to the NAACLS Update video in the Education Scientific Assembly community and also within the CLEC 2021 Community.

Please note: URL links for NAACLS events at CLEC 2021 will be available only to participants through the CLEC 2021 app. 

We hope to connect with you next week!

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The early bird registration deadline for our upcoming pre-CLEC workshop, Let’s Take a Ride Through the NAACLS Standards, is days away.

Registration fees and deadlines are as follows:

$225/person (EARLY BIRD FEE paid in full by 2/3/21)

$250/person (GENERAL FEE paid in full BETWEEN 2/4/21 and 2/17/21)

The purpose of this workshop is to explore the flexibility of the NAACLS Accreditation Process and Standards to ensure programs continue to meet the compliance requirements while adapting and innovating. Actual innovative methods used by NAACLS accredited programs will be discussed.

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NAACLS will conduct a workshop webinar titled, Let’s Take a Ride Through the NAACLS Standards,” on February 24, 2021, from 7:30am-4:00pm CST.

The purpose of this workshop is to explore the flexibility of the NAACLS Accreditation Process and Standards to ensure programs continue to meet the compliance requirements while adapting and innovating. Actual innovative methods used by NAACLS accredited programs will be discussed.

Upon completion of this workshop, the participants should be able to:

1.     Review the NAACLS accreditation and approval processes

2.     Design a NAACLS accreditation timeline and plan to prepare for the self-study and site visit

3.     Describe how the NAACLS Standards are flexible and allow for innovation in meeting the standard requirements

4.     Ensure program assessment and continuous improvement plan includes evaluation of innovations and modifications implemented in the program

ASCLS P.A.C.E. and ASCP approve NAACLS as a provider of continuing education programs in the clinical laboratory sciences. This workshop is an intermediate level program. The following contact hours will be awarded at the workshop: ASCLS = 7; ASCP = 7.

The workshop will be presented by:

Charity E. Accurso, PhD, MLS(ASCP)cm, Dean of the College of Allied Health Sciences at the University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, OH. Dr. Accurso is the Four-Year Educator on the NAACLS Review Committee for Accredited Programs (RCAP).

Laura Ahonen, MS, MT(ASCP), Program Director of the MLT and Phlebotomy Programs at Northcentral Technical College in Wausau, WI. Ms. Ahonen is the Chair and a Phlebotomy Educator on the NAACLS Programs Approval Review Committee (PARC).

Registration fees and deadlines are as follows:

$225/person (EARLY BIRD FEE paid in full by 2/3/21)

$250/person (GENERAL FEE paid in full BETWEEN 2/4/21 and 2/17/21)

Please visit https://naacls.org/ for more information and to register. We hope to have you join us in February!

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The NAACLS Board of Directors is considering transitioning approved programs to accredited programs and phasing out the term “approved”. Over the past three years, the NAACLS Program Approval Review Committee (PARC) has engaged in internal discussions regarding the definition and challenges of the term “approval.” Discussions were initially stimulated by approved programs that wished to have a NAACLS site visit. Recently the PARC considered the challenges that hospital-based approved programs have securing Medicare funding for students stemming from not being “accredited” by NAACLS. A task force made of PARC members met to discuss both broader conceptual reasons as well as detailed operational ramifications of transitioning phlebotomy and clinical assistant programs to a review process consistent with NAACLS accredited programs. The task force, and PARC at large, tried to consider the matter from all angles.

It is essential to consider that phlebotomy and clinical assistant programs go through a peer-review process, administered by content experts, and held to a set of standards. In essence, this process is what describes accreditation. NAACLS elected to label this process as approval for phlebotomy and clinical assistant programs. While the reasoning of why NAACLS started using the term “approval” is unclear now, what is clear is the term leads to confusion by the public, frustration by the Council of Higher Education and Accreditation (NAACLS’ recognition agency), and presents unnecessary boundaries to program directors.

The NAACLS Board of Directors is considering transitioning approved phlebotomy and clinical assistant programs from their current quality assurance process (the review process consisting of only a self-study with a five-year maximum award for programs) to a quality assurance process consistent with the disciplines that NAACLS accredits (a review process requiring a self-study and site visit with a ten-year maximum award).

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NAACLS is seeking candidates for our Programs Review Committees and Board of Directors. Individuals are encouraged to self-nominate for roles they are interested in, as well as nominating others. 

The following positions will be open for election in 2020:

BOARD OF DIRECTORS 

Two Year Educator (an individual who is employed by a community, technical or junior college but not credentialed in any of the areas that NAACLS accredits or approves and/or whose primary livelihood is derived from the laboratory industry) – 1

Public Member (an individual whose primary livelihood is not derived from the laboratory industry) – 1

Self- nominations for these Board of Director positions should complete this electronic application by February 1st 2020.

All other nominations should be sent to  Mark Spence, Volunteer Services Manager by February 1st, 2020. Be sure to include the nominees name, current position, and email address in the message.

REVIEW COMMITTEE FOR ACCREDITED PROGRAMS (RCAP)

Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS) Educator – 2

Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) Educator – 1

Cytogenetic Technologist (CG) Educator – 1

Four Year Educator– 1

PROGRAM APPROVAL REVIEW COMMITTEE (PARC)

Phlebotomy Educator – 3

DOCTORAL REVIEW COMMITTEE (DRC)

Clinical Laboratory Sciences Industry Executive or Leader ( an individual with an earned graduate degree in a clinical laboratory science profession or related field; works in an industry/company that employs medical laboratory scientists [MLS] and/or works with clinical laboratory organizations; has an interest in fostering professional growth in the clinical laboratory sciences professions) – 1

Dept. Chair, Vice President/Provost, or Dean (an individual holding an earned terminal degree [PhD, EdD, MD, or DCLS]; has service as a Department Chair, Vice President/Provost or Dean at an organization that offers doctoral level programs in one or more healthcare profession(s); has knowledge of the principles and processes of accreditation) – 1 

Self- nominations for these committee positions should complete this electronic application by February, 1st 2020.

All other nominations should be sent to  Mark Spence, Volunteer Services Manager by February 1st, 2021. Be sure to include the nominees name, current position, and email address in the message.

All submitted nominations will be forwarded for a vote to the NAACLS Board of Directors in April 2021.

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By Dianne M. Cearlock, PhD, Chief Executive Officer

At the September 24, 2020 meeting of the NAACLS Board of Directors, in addition to accreditation and approval awards recommended by the Review Committee on Accredited Programs (RCAP) and the Program Approval Review Committee (PARC), the following items were addressed:

Elections for Board of Director officer positions were held. Peter Hu, PhD, MS, MLS(ASCP)CM,  CGCM, MBCM, FACSc, FASAHP, continues for a second and final year as President. Elected as President Elect is Maribeth Flaws, PhD, MLS(ASCP) CM, as Secretary is Marisa K. James, MA, MT(ASCP) CM, and as Treasurer is Joel M. Shilling, MD(FASCP). Julie O’Sullivan Maillet, PhD, RD, FASAHP, returns as Member at Large. Additionally, President Hu appointed various Board members to serve as standing committee chairs and review committee liaisons. Leaving the Board after two four-year terms is Patricia Ellinger, MSEd, MLS(ASCP)SBB.

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The NAACLS Board of Directors is requesting public comment for proposed Standards changes. To view the potential changes, as well as the process to submit your comments, please download the file linked below.

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By Megan Eggert, Meetings and Events Planner

NAACLS has extended its registration deadline for its Fall Workshop Webinar to November 6, 2020.

 “The NAACLS Process and Standards – a Peek Behind the Curtain,” will be held on November 13, 2020 from 7:30am-4:00pm and will be presented by Dawn Tripolino, MBA, MT(ASCP), Vice Chair and Phlebotomy Educator of the Programs Approval Review Committee (PARC), and Dale Telgenhoff, PhD, HTL(ASCP)cm, Member and HT Educator on the Review Committee for Accredited Programs (RCAP).

Upon completion of the workshop, and with the opportunity to discuss questions, the participant should be able to:

  • Review the NAACLS accreditation and approval processes
  • Related NAACLS process concepts to specific program challenges
  • Describe key elements of NAACLS Standards and Compliance Guide
  • Identify Standards that are often problematic
  • Related the Standards and Guide to specific program types.

Please visit www.naacls.org for more information and to register. We prefer at this late date credit card payments, but will accept check payments as well.

We hope you will register to join us on November 13th!

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