By Jane Hermansen
On the first official day of the conference, CLMA KnowledgeLab ’13 is living up to its name! In the past, this meeting was called “ThinkLab,” and I always came away with good ideas. Today I have learned and gained useful knowledge from some of our industry’s best:
Rodney Forsman, President of CLMA, recognized several CLMA chapters for their excellent practices. Congratulations to the chapter from our great State of Minnesota, Chapter of the Year!!
Dr. Michael Laposata of Vanderbilt University Medical Center: The biggest way the laboratory can benefit the hospital is to save money on the patient encounter. Key to a successful laboratory relationship with physicians is developing a diagnostic management team and providing useful information. Test interpretation is more than flagging abnormal results with an asterisk. Even though they cost money to perform, pharmacognomic tests can reduce adverse effects that harm patients and reduce overall healthcare costs. Proper use of these tests prevents the old habit of, "Do we need a lab test for that? Nah, we'll just use people — try that drug out on the patient and see if it works." Now is the time for laboratorians to work together with hospital leadership to demonstrate value of doing the right testing to add true value to patient care.
Bob Stallone of North Shore LIJ Laboratories: Serving a population of 13 million, the North Shore LIJ Core Laboratory is one of the largest health systems and has one of the most successful laboratory outreach programs in the country. The laboratory adds value to the health system overall by being collaborative, meaningful and demonstrating that value through measurable and meaningful indicators. Additionally, a laboratory that adds value has the ability to contribute to health system or hospital goals and objectives. Key to success as a leader is to do the right thing — first, for the patient, then for the employee, and everything else will follow. We must get excited about the opportunities that stretch us and never, ever say "no" to an opportunity to grow.
Dr. John Presutti of Mayo Clinic Florida presented on Health Care Reform and how it may impact the laboratory industry. In the future, we must focus on the needs of the patient rather than on any single facility or site of care. Providers must shift to an approach driven toward accountability, effective and efficient care and a seamless coordination of care. Utilization management is key to the success, and the laboratory must do their part by 1) Eliminating of obsolete tests, 2) Reducing trivial testing, 3) Preparing for testing formularies, 4) Leveraging the EMR for sequential protocols and algorithms, and 5) Using peer to peer data.
There were 10 additional concurrent breakout sessions that I wasn’t able to attend, but my peers seem equally excited about the knowledge they gained.
As an active CLMA volunteer, I’ve had the opportunity to be involved in some of the behind the scenes “magic” of this conference. (After all, we are in Orlando, home of Walt Disney World!) Some of my other activities today included judging poster submissions (more on that in my next post), participating in topic-based roundtable discussions at lunch, being an ambassador for a first time meeting attendee and a mentor for a participant in the Fundamentals of Laboratory Leadership program.
At the end of this first official conference day, I am not tired at all. Rather, I am energized because of the collective enthusiasm that my professional peers all have for the clinical laboratory industry and patient care. I am confident that KnowledgeLab ’13 will only enhance this enthusiasm and passion.
My own presentation, is late tomorrow afternoon (Tuesday). The topic is “Benchmarking – Your Laboratory by the Numbers”. Since I am presenting the last session of the day, I am the single person standing between the attendees and their evening activities, so I must make it worth their time. SPOILER ALERT: Attendees at my session will NOT return home with a binder filled with benchmarking data. Wish me luck!
One final note: as I approached the exhibit booth for MedicalLab Management Magazine, they asked which I would prefer - Meningitis or Ebola. My response was "neither", until they held up two stuffed toys, one named "Ebola", the other "Meningitis." I got both!
AUTHOR: Jane Hermansen, MBA, MT(ASCP), Mayo Medical Laboratories Outreach Program Coordinator has viewed the laboratory industry from many angles. She has been a Mayo Medical Laboratories customer, has worked within a Mayo Clinic testing laboratory, and since 1995 has supported various service, operations and business aspects of Mayo Medical Laboratories. Today she works with hospitals in the development and expansion of their outreach programs. She has spoken on outreach and management topics at numerous state and national professional meetings, and has written several articles for laboratory industry publications.