Proactive Healthcare Emphasized as United Kingdom Works to Reform Healthcare System and Clinical Pathology Laboratory Testing

Speakers at Frontiers in Laboratory Medicine See Increased Role for Pathology

DATELINE: BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND—As our North American readers of Dark Daily arrive for work this morning, it will be late afternoon here in the United Kingdom and the last presentations on the second day of the 10th annual Frontiers in Laboratory Medicine (FiLM) will be wrapping up.

It was a packed auditorium this year at FiLM, as clinical biochemists, pathologists, and medical laboratory scientists gathered to learn about achieving best practices in pathology management and clinical laboratory operations. One reason for this heightened interest is the major reforms already cascading throughout the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS).


Combining Medical Lab Automation and Process Improvement Delivers Big Gains for Pathology Laboratories

Here in Glasgow, Scotland, clinical laboratory directors share successes with TLA and Lean

Use of total laboratory automation (TLA) in clinical pathology laboratories now often involves use of process improvement and Lean techniques. That’s one insight that emerged from a special extended session on medical laboratory automation and process improvement at the Association for Clinical Biochemistry’s  annual Focus meeting in Glasgow, Scotland last week.

As a trend, it shows how process improvement and Lean are becoming important management tools for pathologists and clinical laboratory managers. In vitro diagnostics (IVD) manufacturers have recognized this development and often provide expertise or consulting assistance on process improvement methods to help medical laboratory managers. The goal is to use process workflow redesign and Lean Six Sigma methods to design the most efficient way to handle specimens, then support this work flow with the best laboratory automation solutions.


Regional Laboratory Consolidation and Shrinking Budgets Are Key Issues for Clinical Pathology Labs in the United Kingdom

Focus Conference in Glasgow puts spotlight on how medical laboratories must deliver more testing with less reimbursement

Clinical pathology laboratory services might be considered “under siege” in the United Kingdom. That’s because clinical laboratories are facing significant reductions to their annual budgets, even as health trusts throughout the country push for regional integration and further consolidation of laboratory testing services.

This week in Glasgow, Scotland, the Association for Clinical Biochemistry is conducting Focus, its annual meeting. This large gathering for the laboratory medicine profession in the United Kingdom offers attendees a wide spectrum of topics and speakers relating to laboratory testing. Your Dark Daily Editor is here to chair a session, learn from the many interesting presentations, and visit some hospital laboratories in Glasgow.


Pathologists and Clinical Lab Professionals Urged to Think in “21st Century” Terms

Sir Muir Gray addresses Frontiers in Laboratory Medicine

“Manage knowledge as though it is money” was the advice that Sir Muir Gray offered pathologists and clinical laboratory scientists attending last week’s Frontiers in Laboratory Medicine (FiLM) conference that took place in Birmingham, England. He was explaining how 20th Century Medicine is evolving into 21st Century Medicine.

Sir Muir Gray is the Chief Knowledge Officer for Great Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) National Library for Health.


Clinical Laboratories in Ireland Will Soon Undergo Nationwide Restructuring

Irish health service plans to downsize and shut some pathology laboratories while building two or three new stand-alone clinical laboratories

DUBLIN, IRELAND—Pathology testing and clinical laboratories in Ireland will soon be involved in a major project to overhaul the entire system of laboratory medicine in this country of 4.5 million people. Today, your Dark Daily editor wraps up a week-long visit to medical laboratories in Dublin and the pending reorganization of clinical laboratories is a major topic among pathologists and clinical laboratory scientists.

Last year, Ireland’s Health Service Executive (HSE) issued a press release announcing the program to modernize the nation’s clinical laboratory service. The plan specifies that some pathology laboratories will be downsized or closed as regional laboratory testing networks are developed. Another major element in the plan is the creation of two or three “cold” laboratories—what North American laboratory professionals would recognize as a stand-alone clinical laboratory facility providing routine testing to general practice clinics—to serve this segment of the Irish healthcare system.