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
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Lab Quality Confab showcases the next paradigm shift for clinical laboratory QA/QC

Can Lean, Six Sigma, and process improvement techniques measurably improve the quality of analytical test results produced by clinical pathology laboratories? A handful of innovative pathologists and laboratory scientists say the answer is “yes”!

The outcomes from their pioneering efforts to deliberately attack and improve the quality of the analytical test results in their medical laboratories provide early evidence that Lean, Six Sigma, and similar performance improvement methods can play a role in reducing patient risk while significantly increasing the analytical integrity of the lab tests produced by their organizations.

New Clinical Laboratory Management Opportunity

This is an important development for the medical lab testing industry. It opens the door to a new management opportunity that clinical laboratories can use to drive down medical errors while contributing to improved patient outcomes. In turn, by measurably reducing patient risk and documenting a greater level of analytical test quality, medical labs can gain competitive advantage with physicians in their community. Even more significantly, the documented higher level of analytical test result quality will allow these laboratories to negotiate higher reimbursement from health insurers.

Next month, you can hear several of these innovative pathologists publicly share the results of their work in applying Lean and process management methods to the goal of reducing patient risk and lifting the analytical quality of laboratory test results. These special sessions will take place during the Fourth Annual Lab Quality Confab and Process Improvement Institute on November 2-3, 2010 at the Westin Riverwalk Hotel in San Antonio, Texas.

Bringing Together Innovative Speakers for the First Time

These are first-movers in elevating the profile—and the performance—of the QA/QC departments found in every clinical laboratory and pathology group. Their early work points to how clinical laboratory QA/QC is likely to be reshaped as more laboratories learn to apply process improvement techniques to the work steps that directly influence the quality of a lab’s analytical test results. Never before have these three speakers come together at the same time and place to share their breakthroughs. All lab quality program managers will find this to be an invaluable learning opportunity.

PRE- AND POST-ANALYTICAL: Tackling the pre-analytical and post-analytical area will be Michael Astion, M.D., Ph.D., Professor and Director, Reference Laboratory Services at the University of Washington in Seattle. His lab team is using industrial engineering methods in pre- and post-analytical improvement projects specifically to lift the quality of analytical results in measurable ways. At the same time, use of these process improvement methods is also lowering lab errors, improving turnaround times, and boosting staff productivity.

ANALYTICAL: Possibly the toughest challenge is to apply Lean and similar process improvement techniques to the analytical step. Improving analytical step performance has been the focus of Michael Noble, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Clinical Microbiology Profiency Testing Program and Program Office for Lab Quality Management at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia. He will provide an insider’s look at how to measure the cost of poor quality and laboratory errors. This includes the best use of process improvement techniques and proficiency testing to raise the quality of analytical results.

ANALYTICAL QUALITY: Striking to the core of analytical quality will be Curtis Parvin, M.D., Ph.D., Manager of Advanced Statistical Research at Bio-Rad, Inc., in Plano, Texas. He will help participants at Lab Quality Confab understand how to design QC activities to manage analytical accuracy and reduce patient risk.

As these three existing sessions demonstrate, innovative laboratories are combining, blending, and integrating automation solutions with Lean, Six Sigma, and process improvement principles. Laboratory managers, pathologists, and others wanting to understand this powerful new opportunity in lab management will find the fourth annual LabQuality Confab and Process Improvement Institute to be a comprehensive resource. Make your plans to join us on November 2-3, 2010 at Lab Quality Confab In San Antonio at the beautiful Westin Riverwalk Hotel.

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, Beckman Coulter Corporation, Siemens Diagnostics, Roche Diagnostics, Chi Solutions, and others.

Plus, here’s more good news! Early Bird registration discount fees have been extended through Friday, October 8, 21010. Take advantage of these savings now and register to guarantee your place at the clinical pathology laboratory profession’s most important national meeting on Lean, Six Sigma, ISO 15189, and performance improvement methods!

Related Information:

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