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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Innovator Hospitals Bring ICUs into the Info Age, Using New Design Approaches that involve Medical Laboratory Tests

By consolidating information, automating data collection, and harnessing new cloud computing technologies, doctors hope to silence the endless array of alarms and inject efficiency and personalization into the critical care experience

Some healthcare experts believe it is time that intensive care units undergo a workflow redesign to improve the quality of care they deliver, while reducing or eliminating design elements that contribute to errors. Clinical laboratories have a stake in this redesign effort, as they provide medical laboratory tests for patients in ICUs.

“What I want to do for the ICU is what Steve Jobs did for the iPhone,” said Peter Pronovost, PhD, MD, in an article published in STAT. Pronovost is working to improve both the flow of information and delivery of care in the ICU of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. (more…)

In China, More Irate Patients Violently Attack Doctors over Wrong Diagnoses and Poor Healthcare

Violence by patients against physicians in China is a reminder to pathologists and clinical laboratory professionals about the importance of gaining patient trust in local medical laboratory test providers too

Medical errors, inaccurate diagnoses, and poor clinical care by clinicians in China are believed to be the primary reasons why a growing number of Chinese patients are physically attacking their doctors. Hospitals in China are beefing up security to protect physicians from what are often violent attacks.

This trend is a reminder to pathologists and clinical laboratory professionals in the United States and other developed nations of how essential it is maintain patients’ complete confidence and trust in their caregivers. That trust is anchored in accurate medical laboratory testing, precise diagnosis, and high-quality clinical care that is appropriate to a patient’s disease or health problem.

More Chinese Patients Turn Violent on Physicians and Caregivers

What makes this trend particularly noteworthy is that Chinese people are often viewed as patient and obedient. Now, however, when it comes to their healthcare, a growing number of Chinese patients are not patently compliant or meek. Over the last decade, disgruntled patients or family members have turned the nation’s hospitals into scary places for doctors and nurses to work. That’s because violent attacks on caregivers are increasing at an alarming rate.

China’s 1,000 top hospitals have seen a rise in “disputes escalating into violence, as well as random attacks,” stated Sun Haibo, Department Chief at China’s Ministry of Public Security’s Public Security Management Bureau in Bejing, in a recent report published by Bloomberg Businessweek. (more…)

Shopping for HealthCare Services Not Easy Due to Lack of Publicly Available Information on Quality and Value

Study Finds Most State Websites Aimed at Transparency in Healthcare Pricing Inaccurate and Basically Useless in Helping Consumers Shop for Services

With growth in high-deductible health plans, healthcare is becoming increasingly consumer-driven. But shopping for healthcare services isn’t easy due to lack of available resources that enable consumers to compare price and quality, according to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Recently, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services  (HHS) revealed the arbitrary nature of hospital prices by publishing hospital-specific costs and outcomes data for 3,000 hospitals nationwide, according to a report published by Dark Daily. This step towards full transparency is aimed at helping consumers comparative shop for hospitals based on both quality and value.


HEDIS Data Provides Evidence that Physicians Are More Effective in Using Clinical Pathology Laboratory Tests Improve Patient Care

NCQA published annual report showing increased rates of screening for most of its HEDIS quality measures and medical laboratory testing often plays a role in these screening activities

For almost a decade now, clinical laboratories and pathology groups have been asked by many private payers to provide laboratory test data for a number of clinical services. In turn, these private health insurers annually submit this data to the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) program managed by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).

Although their medical laboratories regularly feed this data to payers, few pathologists or lab administrators track how HEDIS data is used by NCQA. Thus, it is useful to know that, over the years, HEDIS data provides evidence that better utilization of certain clinical laboratory tests by physicians directly contributes to measurable improvements in patient outcomes across the United States.

Daschle Tells Lab Executives to Expect Cost Cuts as Part of Health Reform

Ex-Senate Majority Leader Predicts Democrats Will Aggressively Push Reform

In recent weeks, laboratory professionals got a ringside seat to hear a true Washington insider discuss key issues in healthcare reform. Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, told lab industry executives and pathologists that Congress faces three significant hurdles as it attempts to reform the healthcare system. The first—and perhaps most significant—hurdle involves costs, he said. Daschle is currently a Senior Policy Advisor at Alston and Bird, a law firm in Washington, D.C.

“Cost is a huge political factor,” stated Daschle during a recent audio conference conducted by the American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA) on June 24. “Of all of the factors, cost is driving this debate as much if not more than any [other single factor]. We are looking at an investment cost of about $1 trillion to put this new infrastructure in place and that is an issue of great concern.” Daschle explained that the other two hurdles are quality of care and access to healthcare.