When people head to the doctor to have tests performed, it's rare they think about what it takes to get the precise, accurate results.

"The common misconception from the public is that we draw blood, put it on a machine and get an answer, when in fact, it's much more than that," said Angela Dove, the Senior Technologist of the Riverside Tappahannock Hospital Laboratory.

And today, Riverside is pleased to announce the team at the Riverside Tappahannock Hospital Laboratory was recently lauded by two separate entities as being an "efficient, state of the art laboratory." The Riverside Tappahannock Hospital just passed two back-to-back inspections. Lab_opt

The first inspection was conducted by the College of American Pathologists (CAP). CAP visits take place on a biannual basis and are conducted by peer hospitals which measure each lab up against more than 1,200 standards to ensure every aspect of the lab is in compliance. The inspection team can be as large as seven people.

This year, the Riverside Tappahannock Laboratory passed its CAP inspection and then two weeks after CAP inspectors left Tappahannock, the laboratory was randomly selected as one of the five percent of hospitals chosen by the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) for a second, government-led inspection.

The CLIA inspection lasted three days and had the visiting team going through "every nut and bolt, looking over documentation and processes," said Gary Mosman, Director of the Laboratory at Riverside Tappahannock Hospital.

The CLIA inspectors found zero deficiencies during their visit.

Mosman said he was incredibly pleased with the results of both inspections, which showcased the hard word the team puts in each day and with each test or procedure. Lab Staff_opt

"It's an accomplishment and an honor, especially in a small, community hospital, to be able to say that we perform at a level that meets the scrutiny of hospitals that are similar, as well as the agency that actually writes the rules," said Dove.

Technologists like Dove who work in the laboratory must be familiar with computers, overall systems and maintaining instruments that are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The "general laboratory capabilities" they all perform in Tappahannock include several types of testing, like lipid studies, liver profiles or glucose testing, as well as tests involving hematology, serology, urinalysis, blood banking and microbiology.

"On average, we will transfuse anywhere from 70 to 90 units of blood or blood product in one month, which is a lot for a small hospital," Mosman explained.

Beyond the capabilities themselves, the laboratory can often turn  around results very quickly, much like hospitals in a much larger market.

"Patients come in here in the morning and have their results by late morning or early afternoon for a test that we do in-house," said Mosman.

"We're probably one of the smallest labs of the five hospitals in the Riverside system, but we still have absolute state-of-the-art equipment as far as our general laboratory capabilities go —we have the same equipment as Riverside Regional Medical Center in Newport News."

Published: September 12, 2014