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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Clinical Pathology Laboratory Industry’s Innovators in Lean, ISO 15189, and Process Improvement Gather in San Antonio

Speakers at Sixth Annual Lab Quality Confab told attendees that ACOs and integration of clinical care now make it important for medical laboratories to use Lean and QMS to deliver more value while substantially reducing costs

DATELINE: SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS—Here at the 6th annual Lab Quality Confab and Process Improvement Institute (LQC), an enthusiastic crowd of clinical laboratory industry “first movers” gathered to learn how leading medical laboratories, pathology groups, and hospitals are harnessing the power of process improvement to drive gains in quality, customer satisfaction, and financial performance.

Institute of Medicine Report RecommendsContinuous Learning

LQC’s founder and host, The Dark Report‘s (TDR) Editor-in-Chief, Robert Michel, opened the general session on day one with a look at a recent report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM). The report, titled “Best Care at Lower Cost: The Path to Continuously Learning Health Care in America”, has significant implications for healthcare providers. Including clinical laboratories. (more…)

Institute of Medicine Report Finds Healthcare Management Lags Behind Other Industries

Pathologists and clinical laboratory directors can learn from other industries about how to better achieve quality and cost goals

Why are pathology groups, clinical laboratories, and the majority of healthcare providers so slow to borrow innovative approaches from commercial businesses that measurably improve patient service, quality, and satisfaction? No less an authority than, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) has taken the entire healthcare system to task for being so slow to adopt proven innovations that are being rapidly taken up by non-healthcare industries.

These findings were published in a report recently issued by the Institute of Medicine. Authors of the report found that when it comes to quality, outcomes, cost, and equity, healthcare falls short when compared to other industries. (more…)

OIG Estimates that 1 in 7 Medicare Patients are Injured or Killed by Healthcare Providers

That’s not news to pathologists, who often see how physicians mis-order or mis-interpret clinical laboratory tests

Each month, one out of seven Medicare patients is injured or killed by their healthcare providers. These medical errors cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars each year. And, that doesn’t even include the cost of follow-up care for the injured patients who survive.

Those and other conclusions are part of a recently released study by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) titled “Adverse Events in Hospitals: National Incidence Among Medicare Beneficiaries.”


Comparative Effectiveness: It’s Here! It’s Now! And It’s Funded to the Tune of $1.1 Billion!

Effort will identify which clinical procedures actually benefit patients—and are cost-effective

“Comparative effectiveness research (CER)” is likely to be one method that healthcare reformers use to establish reimbursement for different medical technologies and treatments. This will apply equally to clinical laboratory testing and pathology professional services as well as other medical procedures.

There is a compelling reason why comparative effectiveness is likely to happen on this turn of the healthcare reform wheel. Congress put teeth into the comparative effectiveness movement earlier this year when it provided $1.1 billion to support the effort in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.


New Guidelines for Working Medical Residents Would Add $1.6 Billion Annually

Goal is to improve patient safety and health outcomes, but who is going to pay?

Pathologists are aware of the ongoing debate about the overwork of medical residents, who traditionally worked 100 or more hours per week. Medical experts regularly point out how overworking medical residents may result in fatigue-related adverse events that negatively affect patient safety. These adverse events cost teaching hospitals money in additional care and/or malpractice claims. Now comes a new report published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) which determined that it remains more profitable to continue this practice than to hire extra help.

The study, Cost Implications of Reduced Work Hours and Workloads for Resident Physicians, was conducted by researchers from UCLA and the RAND Corp, a nonprofit research facility in Los Angeles. The study was initiated in response to recommendations from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to limit medical resident work hours.