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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Answers and effective solutions to the lab profession’s most urgent challenges will be front and center at the innovative ‘Lab Management Essentials Workshop’

Three powerful forces are slamming clinical laboratories today. One is the urgent need to cut costs. Second is the struggle to achieve and maintain full lab staffing. Third is the pressure to increase revenue and expand market share.

All of this is happening even as hospitals and health systems must deal with almost identical issues. Cost-cutting, recruiting more staff, and finding ways to increase revenue dominate the thoughts and actions of senior health administrators.

Most Hospitals and Health Systems Report Substantial Financial Losses

News reports about the financial losses at hospitals and health systems tell the story. For example, one report in Becker’s Healthcare described the financial damage at three major, multi-state health systems:

  • AdventHealth, a 48-hospital health system, reported a $417.7 million net loss in the first quarter of 2022. It reported that, because of inflation, costs had increased by 15% over prior year.
  • Kaiser Permanente, with 12.6 million members in seven regions of the United States, reported a net loss of $961 million in the first quarter of 2022. One major factor in these losses was the increase in expenses, which was 9.5%. For second quarter 2022, Kaiser Permanente showed a loss of $1.3 billion, most of that from a decline in the value of its investment portfolio.
  • Ascension Health, with 143 hospitals in 19 states, reported a net loss of $884.7 million in first quarter of 2022. It said its costs increased by 10.6% over the same period last year.

Most hospital-based clinical laboratory managers and pathologist are aware of these staggering financial losses. They also are watching how the shortage of nurses and other skilled personnel has hospitals scrambling to close that gap by paying more overtime, using temporary nurses who are paid at much higher rates, and increasing nurse salaries to prevent existing staff nurses from taking more lucrative offers from other hospitals in the community.

Clinical Laboratories Under Pressure to Cut Costs and Maintain Adequate Staff Levels

Hospital-based laboratories are on the frontline of these hurricane forces. Facing operating losses, hospitals ask their laboratories and other clinical service lines to cut costs below authorized budgets. Meanwhile, the labs themselves must deal with their own shortage of medical technologists (MTs) and clinical laboratory scientists (CLSs)—along with other skilled positions—that are required to provide the full menu of lab testing services.

This “perfect storm” of pressures to cut costs, keep staffing at authorized levels, and generate more revenue (that can offset rising costs of lab supplies and the higher salaries being paid to MTs and CLSs) is without precedent in the past four decades. To provide lab managers with the knowledge to resolve these challenges swiftly and confidently in their own laboratories, the team behind the Executive War College assembled experts to conduct a one-and-a-half-day interactive workshop.

The workshop is titled, Lab Management Essentials Workshop to Effectively Cut Costs, Improve Staff Hiring and Retention, and Generate More New Revenue. The first of these workshops will occur in Chicago on Oct. 20-21. The same instruction will be provided in a workshop in Miami on Nov. 10-11. By design, lab managers will learn in small settings that ensure personal interaction with the experts in lab cost cutting; staff recruiting, hiring, and retention; and generating more lab revenue.

Using Lab Case Studies to Teach Proven Solutions for Reducing Expenses

Each of the three important topics will be addressed in half-day learning modules. Following case study presentations on best practices, attendees at Lab Management Essentials will break out into smaller roundtable groups facilitated by lab industry experts. The groups will brainstorm how to apply these proven methods to cut costs, retain employees, and create revenue. They will then describe their findings to all participants.

Lab Management Essentials Workshop facilitators (clockwise from top left): Tafney Gunderson, Carlton Burgess, Dorothy Martin, Rick VanNess, Jane Hermansen, and Kim Zunker.

On the morning of day one, leaders of the lab cost-cutting module will be:

  • Carlton Burgess, Vice President of Laboratory Services at Prime Healthcare in Ontario, Calif.
  • Tafney Gunderson, Quality Systems Supervisor at Avera McKennan Laboratory in Sioux Falls, S.D.

On the afternoon of day one, leaders of the lab staff recruiting, hiring, and retention module will be:

  • Dorothy Martin, Regional Laboratory Manager at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health in Lebanon, N.H.
  • Kim Zunker, MBA, MLS(ASCP), CAPM, Consulting Manager at Accumen in Scottsdale, Ariz.

On the morning of day two, leaders of the lab staff recruiting, hiring, and retention module will be:

  • Jane Hermansen, MBA, MT(ASCP), Manager of Outreach and Network Development at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
  • Rick VanNess, Director of Product Management at Rhodes Group and TriCore Reference Laboratories in Albuquerque, N.M.

Delivering Essential Knowledge to Up-and-Coming Laboratory Managers

This Lab Management Essentials workshop is a first for the clinical laboratory profession. It brings together experienced, effective lab leaders to teach, guide, and coach your lab’s smartest up-and-coming lab managers. It accomplishes this in just one-and-a-half days, to minimize the time they are away from your lab.

To gain maximum benefits from this well-designed program, it is recommended that you send three or four of your front-line lab managers. Together, they will hear and learn at the same time, while working during the intimate sessions to identify the techniques and methods that will work best for your lab. This is important because, upon their return, they will have both enthusiasm and the knowledge to light the right fires under your lab staff and energize them into quickly deploying ways to slash expenses, attract top candidates to fill open positions, and even to tap new sources of revenue—all of which they learned during Lab Management Essentials.

Because the number of attendees to each workshop is limited, you are encouraged to click here to register yourself and your designated lab managers today.

—Robert Michel

Related Information:

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