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…)

Innovative Clinical Pathology Laboratories Use Quality Management Systems (QMS) to Deliver Added Value to Physicians

DATELINE: San Antonio, Texas—This week, a large and enthusiastic crowd of clinical laboratory managers and pathologists gathered here to participate in the fifth annual Lab Quality Confab, a conference devoted to Lean, Six Sigma, and process improvement in medical laboratories and hospitals.

It was an opportunity to judge the “state of the clinical laboratory testing industry” in regards to how quality management and the tools of Lean and continuous improvement are helping to transform the nation’s more innovative medical laboratory organizations. This is an important trend in laboratory medicine and it is still in its earliest stages.


Clinical Pathology Laboratories Use Lean to Design “Ideal” Blood Draw Sites and Workflow

Goal is for medical laboratories to enhance patient’s phlebotomy experience

DATELINE: San Antonio, Texas—Here in the Alamo City this week, many of the nation’s most innovative clinical laboratories, pathology groups, and in vitro diagnostics manufacturers came together to share their successes in the use of Lean, Six Sigma, and similar process improvement techniques.

The occasion was the Fourth Annual Lab Quality Confab and Performance Improvement Institute. This high-energy event was notable for several reasons. First, despite a lackluster economy, attendance was up more than 20% over last year. When asked about their participation, many attendees said that their parent hospital or health system sent them to the Lab Quality Confab specifically to bring back ideas for quality improvement projects that would advance clinical care while taking costs out of laboratory operations.

More Medical Laboratories Now Use Lean and Six Sigma Methods


More U.S. Medical Laboratories Ready to Step up to ISO 15189 Accreditation

North America’s three ISO 15189 accreditation bodies will be at Lab Quality Confab, along with most of the nation’s ISO-15189 accredited clinical pathology laboratories

In the United States and Canada, acceptance and use of ISO 15189:2007 Medical Laboratories has been limited to a handful of clinical pathology laboratories—except in the Canadian province of Ontario, where, starting almost eight years ago, ISO 15189 became the basis of the province’s mandatory clinical laboratory accreditation program.

But now more pathologists and clinical laboratory managers south of the U.S.–Canadian border are asking a fundamental question: “Is ISO 15189 accreditation an effective way to move my laboratory organization to higher levels of analytical quality while continuously reducing or eliminating errors that affect patient safety and clinical outcomes? More senior medical lab leaders are answering this question with a “yes.”

Clinical Laboratories Turning to ISO 15189


Innovative Clinical Pathology Laboratories Raise Analytical Test Quality with Lean and Process Improvement

Lab Quality Confab showcases the next paradigm shift for clinical laboratory QA/QC

Can Lean, Six Sigma, and process improvement techniques measurably improve the quality of analytical test results produced by clinical pathology laboratories? A handful of innovative pathologists and laboratory scientists say the answer is “yes”!

The outcomes from their pioneering efforts to deliberately attack and improve the quality of the analytical test results in their medical laboratories provide early evidence that Lean, Six Sigma, and similar performance improvement methods can play a role in reducing patient risk while significantly increasing the analytical integrity of the lab tests produced by their organizations.