College of American Pathologists

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College of American Pathologists
Abbreviation CAP
Type NGO
Legal status Nonprofit medical specialty society
Purpose Nonprofit medical specialty society
Headquarters Northfield, Illinois
  • USA
Services Education and Laboratory Improvement
Official language

With more than 18,100 members, the College of American Pathologists (CAP), headquartered in Northfield, Illinois, is the world’s largest association composed exclusively of board-certified pathologists certified by the American Board of Pathology, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, the American Osteopathic Board of Pathology, or other certifying body approved by the CAP Board of Governors, and pathologists-in-training. It is widely considered the leader in laboratory quality assurance and advocates for high-quality and cost-effective medical care.

The CAP inspects and accredits medical laboratories under deemed authority of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Currently, the CAP accredits more than 7,600 laboratories globally, including mostly hospital laboratories as well as commercial laboratories and contract research organizations. The CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program’s goal is to improve patient safety by advancing the quality of pathology and laboratory services through education, standard setting, and ensuring laboratories meet or exceed regulatory requirements. The program incorporates stringent requirements while also providing laboratories the road map and tools to achieve these requirements. The CAP also offers specific accreditation programs for Forensic Drug Testing, Reproductive Laboratories, Biorepositories, and ISO 15189.

In addition, more than 20,000 laboratories are enrolled in the CAP’s Proficiency Testing/External Quality Assurance (EQA) or “Surveys” program. With more than 600 Surveys, the CAP’s PT/EQA program is the largest laboratory peer-comparison program in the world. It allows laboratories to evaluate their performance regularly and improve the accuracy of the patient results they provide. Through these programs, the CAP provides individual laboratories with unknown specimens for testing. The participants analyze the specimens and return the results to the CAP for evaluation. Then, each participating laboratory receives a report of its performance as well as a report summarizing the results of all participating laboratories.

CAP Foundation

The CAP Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, and the CAP’s philanthropic arm, has granted millions of dollars to support pathology education, research, and humanitarian programs. The CAP Foundation relies on financial support of CAP members, staff, industry, and patient advocacy groups.

See, Test & Treat® is the Foundation’s humanitarian program. Through the See, Test & Treat program grants, CAP member pathologists volunteer to lead the coordination and delivery of free, same-day cervical and breast cancer screening, as well as health education for vulnerable women across the US—women with limited or no access to preventive health care.

In 2012, the CAP Foundation launched the annual Gene and Jean Herbek Humanitarian Award, which provides a $25,000 grant to a CAP Fellow who demonstrates leadership in a See, Test & Treat program. The award was named for See, Test & Treat program founder Gene N. Herbek, MD, FCAP, and his wife, Jean, who shares his commitment to this initiative.

In addition to See, Test & Treat, the CAP Foundation funds grants and awards through which significant strides in pathology and patient care emerge. These include the Leadership Development Award, the John H. Rippey Grant for Laboratory Quality Assurance, and the Translational Diagnostics Advanced Training Award.

Official Publications

CAP TODAY, the College’s monthly news magazine, reports medical, industry, and business news to more than 50,000 laboratory professionals. Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine is the CAP’s peer-reviewed, scientific journal giving editorial focus to the introduction and evaluation of new knowledge and technology. STATLINE is a weekly electronic newsletter designed to keep CAP members informed of new legislative and regulatory developments as they happen, serving as the first word on the public policy issues facing CAP members. CAP news also is delivered via Twitter—CAPathologists (@pathologists).

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