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 Laboratories Turn to Healthcare-Focused CRM to Optimize Operations and Increase Market Share, Despite Decreasing Reimbursement

With more medical laboratories making progress on improving the operational performance of their labs, and the level of service they provide to their clients, they are finding it essential to have real-time analytics and healthcare relationship management systems

In today’s world of clinical laboratory medicine, the pace of daily operations continues to increase. Everything happens faster as the nation’s leading medical laboratories apply Lean and other process improvement methods to speed up workflow with the goal of shortening lab test turnaround times.

However, those labs making progress on doing more faster and in less time have a challenge: they require information systems and software that can feed essential information to lab managers and staff in real time. It is for this reason that some of the best-selling informatics products in the clinical laboratory industry these days are middleware solutions and healthcare relationship management (HRM) solutions that support real-time analytics and help medical labs improve their client service.

In the past, clinical laboratories and pathology groups often developed in-house solutions to help manage data and generate reports. While data in these systems often drove diagnostic decisions, with the pace of technological change and demands for reduced turnaround times (TATs), these systems often struggled to provide: (more…)

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…)

New Trend in Use of Real-Time Management Dashboards Gives Clinical Laboratories Ability to Achieve Improved Quality and Faster Test TAT

Evidence is emerging that medical laboratories using the ‘daily management’ approach can outperform other labs, even those using Lean methods

Clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups are information-rich environments. Yet, there is irony in the fact that—in response to financial pressures and incentives to improve the quality of medical laboratory testing services—most of the nation’s clinical labs cannot tap that rich vein of information to support performance improvement goals.

Those financial pressures have shrunk lab budgets and caused price cuts to medical laboratory test prices. These two factors are behind the trend of clinical labs and pathology groups buying middleware solutions that produce real-time data feeds on all aspects of lab operations, from phlebotomy and specimen transport, to accessioning, testing, reporting, client services monitoring, and billing/collections. (more…)

Medical Laboratory Middleware Provider Data Innovations to Be Sold to Roper Industries, the Owner of Sunquest Information Systems

Following the acquisition, Data Innovations will become a business division of Sunquest and the two companies will work to integrate their clinical laboratory information systems

There’s more change in the clinical laboratory marketplace. Yesterday it was announced that Data Innovations—a major player in medical laboratory middleware systems—had been acquired by Roper Industries, Inc. (NYSE:ROP), the owner of Sunquest Information Systems.

Executives at Roper Industries said that Data Innovations will become a business division of Sunquest. The acquisition is expected to close in February, subject to regulatory approvals. Roper also announced yesterday that it was acquiring SoftWriters, a company that sells software for long-term care pharmacies.

In its press release, Roper said that “the combined purchase price for these two acquisitions is $450 million. …The Company expects the three acquisitions to contribute approximately $100 million of annual revenue and provide over $110 million of gross cash tax benefits.” (more…)

More Clinical Pathology Laboratories Use Middleware for Business Intelligence and Lab-specific Customer Relationship Management

CRM is a new product category for medical laboratory middleware and delivers real-time dashboards that drive higher levels of lab performance and client service

Within the clinical laboratory industry, there’s an interesting conjunction of two fast-moving trends. One trend is the growing use of middleware by medical laboratories of all sizes. The second trend is the goal of converting any type of manual work process in the lab into an automated work process.

These trends often intersect when clinical laboratories and pathology groups use middleware to automate manual processes. One common example is when a lab purchases a middleware solution that handles auto-validation. After implementation, auto-validation eliminates the need for medical technologists to manually review all the individual test results. (more…)