FORT RUCKER, Ala. (October 4, 2012) -- Fort Rucker is well known for its excellence in Army Aviation, but that excellence extends far beyond the airfield.

The Lyster Army Health Clinic Laboratory earned accreditation by the College of American Pathologists during a recent onsite inspection, according to Karla Moorehead, chief of laboratory services at LAHC.

"Every two years, [inspectors from CAP] come through and do an accreditation survey," she said. "The checklists had over a thousand questions of criteria that we have to meet to receive the accreditation."

Lyster Army Health Clinic's Laboratory provides analysis on blood and other bodily fluids to offer health care providers at the clinic the information they need to be able to serve their patients in the most accurate treatments and diagnoses, said Moorehead.

During the accreditation process, inspectors examined laboratory staff qualifications, equipment, facilities, safety programs, management, laboratory records and quality control of procedures over the past two years, according to a press release from CAP.

"This stringent inspection program is designed to specifically ensure the highest standard of care for all laboratory patients," it read.

A standard that LAHC has lived up to year after year.

Moorehead, who has been at Lyster for more than 30 years, said that the health clinic has had its CAP accreditation as long as she's been employed there.

"This accreditation shows that we meet or exceed the standards that were put out by the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments," she said. "It means that we meet the highest quality standards for providing patient care."

The CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program has been in place since the early 1960s, and according to Moorehead, LAHC's laboratory has had its accreditation since mandated by the Army in the beginning.

The checklist that was checked for Lyster's laboratory included areas in chemistry, hematology, microbiology, serology and hematology urinalysis, said Moorehead.

"Those are the areas that we actually perform the testing for here [at the laboratory]," she said. "[The inspectors] go through each of the checklist questions and we have to meet their requirements in each area to get this accreditation -- it's a big process."

Moorehead said that the teamwork at LAHC is how the health clinic has maintained its high standards and is able to achieve its accreditation.

"Everyone is involved in the process," she said. "It's not a check, check, check type of situation. They actually have to observe all of the people doing the work and they make sure they are doing it based on what the standards of procedures say that they are supposed to do."

The attention to detail that the accreditation process puts LAHC through is what allows the health clinic to continue its tradition of excellence for Soldiers and Families on Fort Rucker, she said.