State Public Health Lab addresses CMS report findings with operations updates
OSDH will conduct regular internal reviews moving forward
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) today released the results of a review of the state’s Public Health Lab (PHL) conducted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
CMS is the regulating body over Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) certificates for labs, as well as the federal management of Medicaid/Medicare funding.
CMS reviews labs across the country to ensure quality and safety of operations.
“As a regulatory agency, OSDH values the work CMS provides in identifying opportunities for improvements set forth in this report,” said Interim Commissioner of Health Keith Reed. “We recognize that reviews such as this are crucial to ensuring the highest quality of services possible to Oklahomans, and we have worked alongside CMS throughout the process to achieve that goal. Moving a lab to a new location presents opportunities to improve quality standards and operational efficiency. The CMS review was timely to help us with this endeavor and we are excited for the opportunity to position our Public Health Lab for long-term success.”
The following key actions were taken to address and resolve all findings in the report.
- Modernized lab security
- Reviewed and adjusted staff training protocols
- Improved and verified testing SOPs and updated sample collection process
- Ensured proper temperature control, storage and structured transportation of samples
- Resolved reporting on COVID-19 sequencing results
- Transferred the lab’s CLIA number following the move from OKC to Stillwater
“The team at the PHL has responded expeditiously to the findings in this report and have established the proper systems that will continue to move the lab forward,” said Secretary of Health and Mental Health Kevin Corbett. “We recognize it has been a challenging few years to be in public health, and we appreciate all employees for their dedication to Oklahomans during COVID-19 and their service at the Public Health Lab. We are confident we have well-trained staff, the right resources and state-of-the-art technology, which are all foundational for a best in class lab and our response to those we serve.”
Moving forward, OSDH will periodically conduct internal reviews of our processes to inform our staff on areas for continuous improvement.