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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In the United Kingdom, Medical Laboratory Professionals Gather to Explore Disruptive Diagnostic Technology, ISO 15189, and How Labs Can Add Value

Two-day conference attracted an international audience of clinical laboratory scientists and addressed major trends in healthcare and laboratory medicine

DATELINE: BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND—This week in the industrial heartland of the United Kingdom, pathologists and medical laboratory professionals gathered for the 13th Annual Frontiers in Laboratory Medicine (FiLM) conference. The hot topics were new quality management standards for labs in the UK, innovative ways to improve utilization of clinical laboratory tests, and how first mover laboratories in the United Kingdom are using such disruptive technologies as digital pathology and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry.

FiLM is co-produced annual by the Association for Clinical Biochemistry and The Dark Report. Over the past decade, it has grown into the largest conference in Europe that addresses the management and operation of medical laboratories and histopathology laboratories.

New Medical Laboratory Standards include ISO 15189

Currently, medical laboratories in the United Kingdom are adapting to changes in accreditation and external quality assurance (EQA—known as proficiency testing in the United States). By 2018, all labs in the UK will need to be accredited to the standards of ISO 15189: Medical Laboratories. As this happens, the United Kingdom will join a growing list of nations that now use ISO 15189 as a basis for licensure and accreditation of histopathology and medical laboratories. (more…)

Medical Laboratory Leaders Gather in the United Kingdom to Address Challenges of Shrinking Lab Budgets and Need to Upgrade Quality Assurance Performance

Nation’s healthcare system is in the midst of major clinical, organizational, and financial reforms—many of which require immediate responses by pathology laboratories

BIRMINGHAM, England—Two major challenges in laboratory medicine were front and center this week when medical laboratory, a professionals and histopathologists gathered here in the United Kingdom (UK) for the eleventh annual Frontiers in Laboratory Medicine (FiLM).

One challenge is how to improve the quality of lab testing services and demonstrate value to payers. The other challenge is how medical laboratories in the UK  can cope with shrinking budgets for medical laboratories. (more…)

Across the Globe, ISO 15189 Enjoys Growing Acceptance by Governments for the Accreditation of Medical Laboratories in their Countries

Clinical laboratory organizations that seek to set themselves “apart from the herd” are seeking internally recognized quality accreditation, such as ISO 15189

Even as only a small number of clinical laboratories, in the United States have taken the steps to earn accreditation to ISO 15189 Medical Laboratories, it is a different story in other nations, particularly where no statutory requirement for medical laboratory licensure or accreditation exists.

North of the border, the Canadian Province of Ontario has based medical laboratory accreditation on ISO 15189. Over the past decade, more than 130 laboratory organizations in the province have earned accreditation to ISO 15189. Other provinces in Canada have taken steps to develop their own ISO 15189 accreditation programs. (more…)

Hit by Lower Lab Test Prices, Nation’s Clinical Pathology Laboratories Embark on Cost-Cutting Programs

Many hospital outreach lab programs are dealing with the double whammy of successive reductions in Medicare Part B Clinical Laboratory Test fees and a shrinking budget by their parent hospitals

Over the past 24 months, all the painful cuts to lab test prices have made depressing news. These decreases in the prices paid to clinical laboratories by the Medicare program and major private health insurers mean that labs in 2014 will have significantly less revenue, even as the volume of specimens to be tested increases.

The logical response by many medical laboratory  organizations has been to take active steps to decrease expenses. In fact, the price and revenue erosion experienced by labs of all sizes and types over the past two years is the reason why cutting unnecessary costs is now a primary management goal at clinical laboratories throughout the United States. (more…)

Adoption of Quality Management Systems Could Mean Competitive Advantage for Clinical Pathology Laboratories

ISO 15189 is a quality management system  specifically designed for the needs of medical laboratories

Use of quality management systems (QMS) by innovative clinical laboratories and pathology groups enables them to drive impressive gains in quality, customer satisfaction, and financial performance. This is a key development at a time when medical laboratory budgets are shrinking and more cuts in lab test prices are expected.

Going the Extra Mile to Improve Quality Could Be Strategic Opportunity

On all fronts of laboratory medicine, requirements are becoming more stringent. Each year, labs find themselves held to higher standards for compliance with both Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act (CLIA) requirements and Medicare accreditation guidelines. This situation will become further complicated as clinical labs face the need to also meet the requirements of accountable care organizations (ACOs) and similar models of integrated clinical care. Early adopters are responding to these marketplace dynamics by making strategic use of a QMS to boost the performance of their clinical laboratory organizations. As they do, they often gain a competitive advantage. (more…)