The FIT Laboratories carry out the analysis of the submitted stool tests. They receive the prepaid envelopes with stool tests via PostNL. The analysis of stool samples takes place using analysis equipment purchased by the screening organisations. The FIT laboratories forward the results (electronically) to the screening organization.
The laboratories are contracted by the screening organization in accordance with the agreed quality requirements. The referral role checks that the quality requirements are met. This person is also responsible for assessing the results of the four contracted FIT Laboratories. Assessment takes place in accordance with determined indicators.
FIT Quality requirements
Quality requirements are also determined for the stool test. The contract with the suppliers of the FIT refers specifically to these requirements.
If the screening programme colonoscopies are positive, the colonoscopy centre forwards the samples taken to a pathology laboratory for further examination. The pathology laboratory examines the samples and reports the findings to the colonoscopy centre and to the screening organization via the national bowel cancer screening IT system.
The laboratory also works in accordance with national quality requirements that are defined by the bowel cancer screening programme. Colonoscopy centres only forward the samples to pathology laboratories that satisfy these quality requirements.
Pathology laboratories that analyse samples taken by the health screening colonoscopists must satisfy quality requirements. The approval check is carried out by the Regional Coordinating Pathologist (RCP), under the responsibility of the screening organization.
Following approval, the Pathology laboratories and the pathologists working there will be audited at pre-determined times in accordance with the audit requirements. The audits are carried out by the RCP, under the responsibility of the screening organization.
Register of Pathology laboratories
The register of pathology laboratories incorporates those pathology laboratories that satisfy the requirements as defined in the national Protocol for approval and audit of pathology laboratories. More information about the quality requirements can be found in the Protocol for approval and audit of pathology laboratories.