The Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP) published a new article in JAMA Health Forum that offers recommendations to improve the ability of the United States to respond to the current COVID-19 pandemic and prepare for future emerging infectious disease outbreaks.
Authored by members of the AMP COVID Response Steering Committee, the article is titled “The Role of Clinical Laboratories in Emerging Pathogens: Insights from the COVID-19 Pandemic.”
The new JAMA Health Forum article offers three recommendations to improve the U.S. response moving forward:
- Promote better collaboration and communication between public health and clinical laboratories and relevant government agencies to more effectively leverage capacities and capabilities to support testing needs.
- Maintain the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) via the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) program as the regulatory agency responsible for oversight of laboratory developed testing procedures, enabling clinical laboratories to rapidly develop and deploy high-quality diagnostic tests during a public health emergency.
- Ensure clinical laboratories have a stable chain of supplies and infrastructure to respond optimally to pandemic needs, as well as other critical clinical testing, including for cancer, inherited conditions, and infectious diseases. This will require early and better use of the Defense Production Act or similar support from the federal government.