In 2017, to Offset Declining Reimbursement and Shrinking Budgets, Savvy Clinical Laboratories Are Using LEAN to Improve Service and Intelligently Cut Costs

Nation’s most experienced lab operations managers, cost-cutters, and Lean experts will gather to share successes and proven ideas at Lab Quality Confab on October 18-19, 2016

Most hospitals and health systems are in the first stages of developing their budgets for 2017. Clinical laboratory administrators and pathologists at these institutions report three common factors are driving the next budget cycle: falling reimbursement, flat or declining inpatient admissions, and directives to cut their lab budgets.

“At our health system, the challenge is a bit different,” said one lab administrator at a large Midwest hospital. “Inpatient volumes are increasing, but we get less money from health insurers per admission. For that reason, our budget planning requirement is to accept a smaller budget than last year, while planning to handle more specimen volume in 2017, compared to this year.” (more…)

Energetic Microbiologist-Turned-Ambassador Puts Out a Call to Action for Medical Laboratory Volunteers for Haiti, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic

From volunteer services, to replaced equipment, to outdated NCCLS materials, anything can be of help in poor countries where no medical laboratories come anywhere close to those of the caliber many of us take for granted.

Carla Orner never sleeps. No one as busy as she is has time to waste on even a little shut-eye. She is the full-time ambassador for Heart to Heart International. Her relationship with Heart to Heart International (HHI) began during her attendance at a regional meeting of a medical laboratory organization. “A speaker who was a HHI employee asked for medical laboratory volunteers to assist in its mission,” she says. The rest is history, as the saying goes!  She works with doctors and nurses who volunteer, but her primary goal is to attract more medical laboratory technicians and technologists to join the volunteer effort through Heart to Heart. One tip that Orner shares with potential volunteers is that of the “mobile” CLIA license, which allows the establishment of a lab that can be operated anywhere in the United States.  In all her experience in filling out forms for CLIA, Orner confessed, “I never saw the box labeled ‘mobile.’”

Orner also continues to present at CLMA and ASCP, among other organizations’ annual and regional meetings.  For many years, she held a position as general manager of Regional Laboratory Alliance in Kansas City, MO, where she led an integrated network of community based hospitals and independent reference laboratories. Her 36 years of laboratory experience included night shift, evening shift, and 15 years microbiology. Among all of that, Orner was awarded a B.S. in Medical Technology from Central Missouri State University, and an MBA from MidAmerica Nazarene University. (more…)

UK’s Association for Clinical Biochemistry Calls for Better Blood-draw Training for ED Doctors

Studies show clinical laboratories still grapple with sub-optimal specimens from emergency departments and better phlebotomy skills are part of the solution

Improving the quality of medical laboratory specimens collected by the staff of emergency departments is an ongoing goal at most American hospitals. Now everyone associated with phlebotomy will be interested in a study released in the United Kingdom (UK) that recommends that emergency department doctors in that country would benefit from a refresher course on correct specimen collection technique.

Clinical laboratory managers and phlebotomists in most developed nations are well acquainted with the problem of faulty specimens sent from the emergency department. That is the problem highlighted by this UK study. (more…)

Clinical Laboratory Leader from Uganda Wins Scholarship, Takes New Knowledge Back to Uganda

Scholarship program for aspiring clinical laboratory managers helps them sharpen their skills

Over in Africa, one of Uganda’s main clinical laboratory organizations is about to go “Lean.” Credit for that development goes to one intrepid medical laboratory leader and his trip across the Atlantic to participate at the Executive War College on Lab and Pathology (EWC) that took place in New Orleans last May.

Faithful readers of Dark Daily will remember Ali Elbireer, MT (ASC). He was this year’s winner of a unique clinical laboratory education scholarship that is awarded annually by The Dark Report and Medical Laboratory Observer. This scholarship is designed to advance the medical laboratory management skills and careers of the clinical laboratory industry’s most promising “up and comers.” (See Dark Daily, “ Teaching the Next Generation of Clinical Pathology Laboratory Managers, April 11, 2011“.)


Teaching the Next Generation of Clinical Pathology Laboratory Managers

MLO and The Dark Report award scholarship to Medical Technologist from Uganda

During the next five years, experts predict a significant turnover of senior executives and administrators in the nation’s clinical laboratories and pathology groups. One big reason why this will occur is the surge of retirements expected as members of the baby boomer generation turn 65.

That makes it ever more important for all medical labs to prepare their next generation of clinical laboratory managers . That is also the goal of a unique collaboration between Medical Laboratory Observer (MLO) and The Dark Report. Each year, for more than five years, the two publishers have teamed up to offer a full scholarship to the Executive War College on Laboratory and Pathology Management. This scholarship includes travel and hotel expenses.

Scholarships for Clinical Laboratory Managers