All public pathology laboratories adhere to high standards in safety and quality. The following links provide useful resources about quality and safety standards in pathology services.
The National Pathology Accreditation Advisory Council (NPACC) sets the standards and requirements that laboratories must meet in Australia for safe and quality laboratory practice in order to be accredited providers of Medicare rebateable services. Click for more on NPAAC and to view the standards.
National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) assesses laboratories against national standards. Click to find out the accreditation status of a laboratory or to find out more about laboratory accreditation.
Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission) leads improvements in safety and quality in health care across Australia. Click for activities of the Commission.
The Commission’s 10 National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards form the basis of the national safety and quality accreditation scheme for health service organisations. Public Pathology members comply with the Standards. Click for the Standards and related resources.
Standards Australia is the peak non-government standards body in Australia. Standards Australia develops internationally aligned Australian Standards® and is the Australian member of ISO and IEC. Click for Standards Australia’s activities in the area of medical laboratory testing services.
National Blood Authority, established jointly by Australian, State and Territory Governments aims to improve and enhance the management of the Australian blood and plasma products. Click for more on the National Blood Authority.
The Quality Use of Pathology Program (QUPP) aims to improve health and economic outcomes from the use of pathology through the pursuit of better practice amongst requesters (or referrers) and providers of pathology services and knowledgeable and engaged consumers. Click for more on QUPP.
Click for Encouraging Quality Pathology Ordering in Australian Public Hospitals (2012), a QUPP funded initiative. This project involved exploring, documenting and reviewing the efforts made in Australian public hospitals to better manage demand for and appropriate use of pathology testing in the care of patients. Lessons learned are considered and constructive suggestions are made to guide practice in the future.
Legislation & Regulations
The principal Commonwealth legislation governing pathology is the Health Insurance Act, 1973.
The Health Insurance (Accredited Pathology Laboratories – Approval) Principles outline eligibility for premises to be approved as an accredited pathology laboratory. Click here to search for Approved Collection Centres.
The Health Insurance (Eligible Collection Centres) Approval Principals, 2010 deregulated the number of eligible approved collection centres that pathology provider can operate.
The Health Insurance Regulations 2018 mandate that request forms must state that the request may be taken to a pathology provider of the person’s choice; and if the person’s treating practitioner has specified an approved pathology practitioner on clinical grounds, a Medicare benefit will be payable only if the service is conducted by that practitioner (Clause 69).