A new online GYN PT Proctor Portal, just launched by ASCP and only available through ASCP, lets pathologists and cytotechnologists find out the results of their GYN proficiency test the same day as the exam.
Previously, the ASCP GYN Proficiency testing results would be returned within five business days which, even though they delivered significantly quicker than the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) 15-business day mandate, could seem like an eternity for those waiting for their results.
“We’re very excited about it. We’ve been developing this for a couple of years and have spent numerous programming hours to ensure that the GYN PT Proctor Portal is easy to use, reduces the possibility for testing infractions, and provides the customer what they want—same day test results,” said Rhonda Drexler, SCT(ASCP), CHCP, ASCP Senior Manager of Cytology Assessment and Proficiency Testing. “The new online Proctor Portal was carefully reviewed and approved by CMS in 2017 for use in the 2018 testing year.”
Under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) of 1988 mandate, all cytotechnologists and physicians who evaluate and render interpretations on Pap tests have been required to take the GYN proficiency test annually. If they do not obtain at minimum of 90 percent on the test the first time, they are required to retest again within 45 calendar days. This process has been in place since 2004, when the first national proficiency testing provider was approved.
Proctors who don’t feel comfortable utilizing the online GYN PT Proctor Portal, or whose laboratory IT system doesn’t support the online Proctor Portal, can still follow the original process.
“Up till now, we mailed the testing materials to the testing locations. When the testing event was complete, everything was then re-packaged and returned via pre-paid shipping materials to ASCP, along with their glass slide testing materials,” Ms. Drexler explains. “Then the data entry begins. I review all results prior to them being shipped back out to the laboratory director within seven business days.”
Proctors who use the online GYN PT Proctor Portal will be able to manage the entire testing process much more smoothly. Now, the proctor will schedule testing sessions for each individual testing. Those individuals will receive an online invitation telling them when and where to meet, along with any additional instructions. Diagnostic responses are entered directly into the system by either the proctor or testing individual. Once everyone has tested the lab directors are sent an immediate notification when their employees have finished taking the test.
“At the end, both the proctor and the lab director acknowledges that everything was done in a manner that ensures the integrity of the event. The lab director receives a detailed summary of the testing event that serves as proof of participation. Once everything is signed and the proctor pushes the online “return,” the scoring begins. Essentially, the lab director could get their employees test results the same day,” says Ms. Drexler.
If, for some reasons, a test has been pulled for audit, the lab director will receive an audit notification and the test will go back to Ms. Drexler, who reviews it to determine why it was selected for audit, puts it through a “defacto appeal” if any scores are less than 90 percent, and then re-releases the results to the lab director for consumption. The audit will be completed with seven business days.
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