News, Analysis, Trends, Management Innovations for
Clinical Laboratories and Pathology Groups

Hosted by Robert Michel

News, Analysis, Trends, Management Innovations for
Clinical Laboratories and Pathology Groups

Hosted by Robert Michel
Sign In

Announcement is more evidence that hospitals and clinical pathology laboratories are adopting Lean and Six Sigma methods

Guess which major healthcare organization is raising the profile of Lean and Six Sigma within its walls? It is The Joint Commission! The Joint Commission recently promoted an experienced master black belt to two key positions.

Clinical laboratory managers and pathologists will be interested to learn that Alex Vandiver, MBB, was appointed to be Director of Business Excellence, as well as Director of the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare.

Lab Quality Confab is Coming!

Lab Quality Confab is an annual gathering dedicated to advancing the knowledge, skills, and effectiveness of process improvement and quality management practitioners in diagnostic medicine.

Vandiver holds a master’s black belt in Lean Six Sigma and has been with The Joint Commission since 2006. As Director, Business Excellence, he will identify problems and devise solutions employing Lean Six Sigma, while directing internal Robust Process Improvement (RPI) projects.

Vandiver’s other role as Director of The Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare enables him to interact directly with 18 top hospitals and health systems to analyze areas in healthcare that have broken down, identify the root causes, and devise and implement targeted solutions. Vandiver will first address hand-hygiene in an effort to stifle hospital-acquired infections, and then study discontinuity in hospital hand-off communications, and wrong-site surgery.

The Joint Commission’s action to increase the visibility of Lean and Six Sigma—both internally and externally in collaboration with the hospital industry—represents another important milestone. It shows that Lean, Six Sigma, and similar performance improvement management methods are gaining increased credibility within the American healthcare system.

Moreover, clinical laboratory managers and pathologists should understand that The Joint Commission’s increasing embrace of Lean and Six Sigma is a reminder that the nation’s hospitals and health systems have every incentive to expand their own use of these proven management approaches. In turn, as the parent hospitals become more proficient in Lean and Six Sigma, their clinical laboratories and pathology groups will be encouraged to adopt these continuous improvement tools.

To help medical laboratories and pathology groups advance their own successes with Lean, Six Sigma, ISO 15189, and similar improvement methods, The Dark Report is conducting the fourth annual Lab Quality Confab and Performance Improvement Institute. It will take place on November 2-3, 2010 in San Antonio, Texas.

More than 40 sessions and topics will be presented, covering the full range of laboratory and pathology operations, ranging from specimen collection and courier logistics to using Lean with automation in the high-volume core laboratory. Poster sessions will take place, and national awards and prizes totaling $4,000 will be awarded. To see topics, speakers, and all the events at Lab Quality Confab, visit To register for Lab Quality Confab, visit

Finally, laboratory vendors are waking up to this highly-productive intersection of matching their automated systems and sophisticated analyzers with Lean, Six Sigma, and similar process improvement techniques. At Lab Quality Confab, management master classes will be conducted on these topics by experts from Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics, Siemens Diagnostics, BD Diagnostics, Abbott Diagnostics, and Sunquest Information Systems, among others.

Helpful Links:

Full program information and speaker agenda for Lab Quality Confab

Complete details about the Lean-Six Sigma Poster Presentations, National Trophies, and Cash Awards, along with Poster Presentation Application and Abstract forms

Four Easy Ways to Register:

1. Register ONLINE
2. Call 800-560-6363. Our friendly staff can register you quickly and easily, as well as answer any questions you may have.
3. Fax this complete registration form to 512-264-0969
4. Mail the one page form with payment to:

21806 Briarcliff Dr.
Spicewood, TX 78669

Related Information:

Clinical and Pathology Laboratory Leaders to Share Successes in Process Improvement, Lean, and ISO 15189

Joint Commission Appoints Alex Vandiver as Director of Business Excellence

The Center for Transforming Healthcare

The Dark Report: Lab Quality Confab