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Definition of a Sentinel Clinical Laboratory

Laboratories within the LRN are divided into 3 levels:
  • Sentinel labs
  • Reference labs
  • National labs
Any laboratory that performs microbial analysis is by default a sentinel laboratory. A laboratory that refers specimens that may contain microbial agents or toxins is also a sentinel laboratory. These laboratories are the first responders in the line of defense. A sentinel clinical laboratory is one of the following three types:
  • Certified to perform high-complexity testing under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA) by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for the applicable specialty of microbiology - - OR - -
  • A Department of Defense (DoD) laboratory certified under the DoD Clinical Laboratory Improvement Program - - OR - -
  • A veterinary medical diagnostic laboratory fully accredited by the American Association Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians (AAVLD)
- - AND - -
The laboratory performs Gram stain testing in-house and at least one of the following:
  • Lower respiratory tract cultures
  • Wound cultures
  • Blood cultures
Note: The designation, Sentinel Clinical Laboratory, has replaced the former Basic or Advanced LRN Laboratory designations.