Evaluating the Adoption of Laboratory Practice Guidelines.

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Archives of pathology & laboratory medicine


CONTEXT.—: To date, the College of American Pathologists (CAP) has developed 17 laboratory practice guidelines (LPGs) including updates. In 2013, the CAP was awarded a 5-year cooperative agreement grant from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to increase the effectiveness of LPGs.

OBJECTIVE.—: To assess the awareness and adoption of 2 CAP LPGs: immunohistochemical (IHC) assay validation and initial workup of acute leukemia.

DESIGN.—: Baseline surveys for each LPG were conducted in 2010 and 2015, respectively. To measure the adoption of guideline recommendations and inform future updates, a follow-up study consisting of surveys, telephone interviews, and focus group sessions was conducted in laboratories that indicated they perform IHC testing. A follow-up study for the acute leukemia LPG is planned.

RESULTS.—: For the IHC Validation LPG, a total of 1624 survey responses, 40 telephone interviews, and discussions with 5 focus group participants were analyzed. The response rate for the aforementioned 3 modalities was 46%, 13%, and 3%, respectively. All modalities indicated most respondents were aware of the LPG and had adopted most or all of its recommendations. Respondents expressed needs for continued communication, increased specificity, and more prescriptive recommendations when the guideline is updated.

CONCLUSIONS.—: While data-driven development of evidence-based LPGs requires significant resources, active data collection to identify gaps and assess adoption contributes to improved laboratory testing practices in support of patient care. The CAP identified sustainable modalities to track metrics and developed multiple tools that should improve guideline development, adoption, and implementation. Of these modalities, written or electronic surveys were the most logistically feasible and had the highest response rate.


Pathology & Laboratory Medicine