Lab Limelight: Dealing With Deficiencies
By Rick Mealy
Many labs dread an audit and are relieved when the auditor leaves. Audits should not end that way, and there are things you can do to minimize what ultimately appears on your audit report. I will never forget a two-day audit I once performed at a small commercial lab in Michigan that was seeking Wisconsin certification. On the morning of the second day, I noticed a trash receptacle overflowing with crushed beer cans. I asked about it and was told that staff were so devastated by my findings the first day that they just sat in the main area after I left and drowned their sorrows. That bothered me, so I asked if we could talk about that. It turned out that they were actually agreed with my findings but were disappointed in themselves. With a little work, the lab eventually received certification, but that scene and my impact on the lab staff was indelibly stamped on my memory.