February 01, 2006 07:20 ET

From NCCLS to CLSI: One Year On

WAYNE, Pa.--(CCNMatthews - Feb 1, 2006) -

A year ago this month, nearly four decades into its history, one of the world's most trusted providers of healthcare standards took a milestone step. NCCLS--known for developing healthcare standards that balance industry, government, and professional viewpoints--changed its name to Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI).

"It was time for our organization to become in name what we have long been in practice and purpose," says CLSI Executive Vice President Glen Fine.

Years before the official inauguration of the new name in January 2005, the organization's Membership and Marketing Committee undertook a broad name-change awareness campaign, which focused upon establishing a brand that would earn for CLSI the same worldwide recognition and credibility that NCCLS had developed in the preceding years.

To measure the success of these efforts, a Fall 2005 survey was distributed to a broad cross-section of the global healthcare community--over 600 responded, both CLSI participants and nonparticipants, totaling 30% of those solicited. Survey questions were designed to gauge:

-- Awareness
The 2005 survey revealed that a vast majority of members (96%)
and nonmembers (86%) were aware of the name change from NCCLS
to Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute. Reflecting the
name-change campaign's reach, results indicate nearly uniform
awareness of the new name across all levels of management.
Respondents in non- or lower-management, middle-management,
and senior management positions showed awareness of the name
change at a rate of 94-95%. CLSI Membership and Marketing
Committee Chair Kurt Davis, FCSMLS, CAE sheds light on the
widespread familiarity in the laboratory community: "Retaining
the word 'laboratory' in the title was key to our principal

-- Recognition and Credibility
89% of US-based survey respondents agreed "that the
organization CLSI is well recognized and respected" in the US,
while 71% of non-US respondents attested that CLSI had
developed recognition and respect around the world. Even while
affirming domestic recognition of the new name in such high
numbers, however, most US respondents underestimated the high
degree to which the name-change campaign has also penetrated
the non-US market.

-- Rationale
Perhaps the most promising findings for the organization were
found in this section, in which fully 75% responded that the
new name is appropriate now and for the future. To more
specific questions, 63% of respondents agreed that "Clinical
and Laboratory Standards Institute" is a better reflection of
the organization's identity, and 67% confirmed that the name
is a better reflection of the organization's purpose.

While the official marketing campaign to promote the new name has been completed, CLSI will continue to remind the healthcare community that the organization continues to provide NCCLS standards and guidelines, and to produce new CLSI guidelines under the same global consensus process upon which the organization built its global credibility.

Still, says Mr. Davis, "The survey evidenced a recognition of our new name that was far more widespread than even we expected to find after only one year."

Contact Information

  • Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute
    Louise Games, 610-688-0100 extension 111