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NCMA | National Certification Medical Association

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About Us

About Us

Most of the fears regarding “Y2K’ were unfounded.  However, during this time healthcare data began to reveal a very disturbing trend.  The percentages of pre-analytical errors and their effect on patient care and treatment began to increase at an alarming rate.  Numerous articles in the Annals of Laboratory Medicine, Medical Laboratory Observer (MLO-online) and in Medical Journals everywhere revealed significant errors being made in specimen collections, medical diagnosis, radiology image interpretation, ECG’s, and therapeutic massages. This presented serious concerns regarding the repercussions of poor incorporation of guidelines and standards.
This didn’t make sense though to a group of educators who saw a significant increase in the number of schools who were teaching phlebotomy and medical assisting.  It seemed that there should be fewer errors as there were more professionals who were certified and ready to work as a healthcare professional.  Further, there were moves from some states such as Georgia, Louisiana and California who enacted credentialing requirements for several allied health professionals.  Then it occurred to us…medicine is a contact sport.  It’s just not enough to know the order of draw to prevent contamination, it’s also about proving you are clinically able to perform the draw correctly.  Written exams are fine, but what we really needed to see is the person’s ability to perform the task without introducing pre-analytical errors and/or performance errors.

As physicians and other healthcare providers struggle to improve the quality of patient care in this age of Managed Care Organizations, (MCOs) and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) or the Affordable Care Act (ACA/Obama Care), we are faced with an additional responsibilities and in need of means to reduce expenses without compromising care.  Almost impossible.  This led healthcare practitioners to rely on assistants, technicians and specialists.  Healthcare providers must rely on private and post-secondary vocational schools and training programs to produce quality technicians.  Unfortunately, many of these graduates are poorly trained and although they have the book knowledge of the competencies required to collect specimens, they do not have the clinical skills to do so without creating pre-analytical errors.
These errors come with significant cost.  Cost to the patient, cost to the hospital, provider and to the economy.  They also require patients to undergo meaningless tests and suffer patient care that is unnecessary.  A small group of educators and healthcare practitioners set out to create a certification agency whose mission would be dedicated to reducing preanalytical errors across the many disciplines of allied healthcare providers.  That was the beginning of the National Certification Medical Association, NCMA. We are proud to be an agency known for its commitment to standards, guidelines, and protocols in the allied health fields.

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