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 Managers Use Lessons in the Best of Medical Laboratory Quality to Improve Lab Operations and Patient Safety

Nation’s largest gathering of clinical laboratory Lean, Six Sigma, and process improvement practitioners took place in New Orleans this week

DATELINE: NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA—More than 300 of the nation’s leading quality improvement practitioners in clinical laboratory operations came together this week to share, learn, and master the best approaches to improving the quality of medical laboratory operations in ways that improve performance and productivity even while delivering substantial reductions in cost.

The opening session of the Ninth Annual Laboratory Quality Confab featured three clinical laboratories that have aggressively used quality management methods, including Lean and Six Sigma. These are labs that are strategically committed to creating and sustaining a culture of quality and continuous process improvement. (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…)

The Joint Commission and SGS Now Offer Hospitals Coordinated Program for Medicare Accreditation and ISO 9001 Certification

Expect more hospitals and health systems to consider adopting the QMS of ISO 9001

It is certainly a sign of changing times when The Joint Commission (JC) enters into an arrangement that will give critical access hospitals the option to pursue The Joint Commission accreditation in combination with certification to ISO 9001.

This is a significant development. It can be assumed that The Joint Commission recognizes the growing interest hospital administrators have in adopting the quality management system (QMS) that is embedded within ISO 9001. Hospital laboratories, clinical laboratories, and anatomic pathology laboratories can earn accreditation to ISO 15189 Medical Laboratories, which also incorporates the QMS embedded within ISO 9001.


Globalization of Laboratory Medicine is Seen in Two Big Cairo Clinical Pathology Laboratories

Two site visits showcased smooth-running medical laboratories with great staff

DATELINE: CAIRO, EGYPT—on Monday, your Dark Daily editor was privileged to visit two clinical laboratories here in Cairo. Each site visit provided ample proof that, despite differences in the Egyptian healthcare system, there are plenty of similarities in how each clinical pathology department is equipped, organized, and operated, compared to clinical laboratories in other countries.

First stop on the Dark Daily medical laboratory tour was Ain Shams Specialized Hospital in Cairo. This teaching hospital is affiliated with Ain Shams University and has more than 800 beds. It is primarily a surgical hospital. Its laboratory is organized to serve the needs of surgeons. There is also an emergency room and ICU service, which means that Ain Shams Specialized Hospital does admit, and treat, a certain number of inpatients with a variety of diseases and health conditions.


Lab Industry’s Quality Gurus Gather and Share Best Practices

Growing interest in Quality Management Systems (QMS) surfaces at Lab Quality Confab

DATELINE: ATLANTA, GA—From nine countries around the world, several hundred clinical laboratory and pathology quality experts gathered in Atlanta this week for the third annual Lab Quality Confab. Dominating the sessions are impressive success stories from laboratories using Lean, Six Sigma, and similar quality management approaches.

Today is the last day of this high-energy gathering. At least two valuable insights emerged from the collective comments of more than 40 speakers—all of who spoke about different ways that their clinical labs, pathology groups, and hospitals are using Lean, Six Sigma, ISO, and the like to advance the quality of care and the service performance of their organizations.