Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory (EDLab) at Pure Air Control Services, Inc. (Lab # 12086) has received accreditation for Legionella and Heterotrophic Plate Counts from the New York State (NYS) Department of Health (DOH) under the Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (ELAP) w.e.f. June 2018.
Clearwater, FL Obtaining Legionella accreditation under the NYS DOH ELAP is a multistage, technically verified, quality process for laboratory sample processing. The laboratory seeking Legionella accreditation under the above program is required to go through a rigorous verification of the laboratory’s and organization’s quality system. It is two stage continuous process. In the initial stage, the laboratory/organization has to make an application with its existing credentials, which includes the laboratory demonstrating proficiency by taking a third party administered proficiency testing with at least two consecutive rounds of satisfactory performance.
The formal application is verified for the appropriateness of the laboratory quality system. Upon clearing this stage, a physical evaluation of the laboratory is undertaken onsite by a third party/or appointed assessor to ensure that there is no conflict of interest. During the site visit, the laboratory/organization has to demonstrate that it is technically competent, that its staff is suitably qualified with its working practices fit for the purpose laboratory processing the information and/or sample testing. Upon successfully meeting all the criteria prescribed for the program a certificate is issued in accordance with and pursuant to section 502 in the Public Health Law of New York State.
“I personally feel, even though the EDLab has always had a strong program for the implementation of quality systems and ISO/IEC 17025 compliance, it’s a bonanza to have a creditable third party/state validate all of the procedures in practice and their integrity” says Dr. Rajiv Sahay, Director of Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory, “I am proud of my team for their invaluable contributions, along with the time and efforts invested in this long process of obtaining accreditation for environmental Legionella and Heterotrophic Plate
Count samples. I believe it will be beneficial to our company, customers and industry as a whole to obtain information on these tests without compromise.”
This Legionella accreditation is not only beneficial to the laboratory in its day-to-day operation, but it also verifies the implementation of a quality system for the work performed by the laboratory. The benefits are tangible to the customers because the accreditation gives them confidence in the quality and integrity of services rendered by the laboratory. In addition to this accepted technical competence, the NYS DOH ELAP also confirms that the services are impartial and standout on the scientific justification to fulfill legal obligations.
Legionella bacteria can be prevalent in building water systems and when left untested/unmanaged can lead to outbreaks of Legionnaires Disease and/or Pontiac Fever. It typically harms the young, elderly and those susceptible to pulmonary health related conditions. In fact, 1 out of 10 cases of Legionellosis is fatal to people in this group. In June of 2017 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) mandated that healthcare and assisted living facilities have a compliant Legionella testing protocol in place to prevent such outbreaks. EDLab’s inclusion in the Centers For Disease Control (CDC) ELITE Program, and now this recent accreditation with the New York State Department of Health’s Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program gives their customers the high level resources needed to keep Legionella in control in their facilities.