A number of Mayo Clinic employees will be actively contributing to this year's CLMA KnowledgeLab 2014 Conference in Las Vegas, Nev. Many of them will be sharing their thoughts and photos from the conference. Not everything that happens at KnowledgeLab stays in Vegas. Follow along throughout the week.
Tuesday, May 6
Day Two KnowledgeLab 2014 Recap
by Jane Hermansen (text) and Deb Wells (Photos)
If I had to summarize Day Two in a phrase, it would be, “Integrating for Value.” In order to add value in the future, the hospital laboratory must integrate with other clinical services and the overall clinical practice of the organization. This integration can be functional, interpersonal or occur through the use of data analysis. There are also opportunities to integrate outside the organization, by advocating into the community or political realm, or by collaborating with other laboratories to achieve a greater goal.
Here are some highlights from Day Two:
Timothy Skelton, M.D., Ph.D., of Lahey Hospital and Medical Center presented the General Session, “Driving Laboratory Value through Health Economics and Outcomes Research.” Across many research projects, he has been able to quantify and predictively model true cost savings to the healthcare system. The laboratory must take its knowledge and get more involved in developing order sets within the institution, creating protocols that save money and driving change. Change management is likely the hardest aspect of this initiative, and he provided one specific tip that the audience was particularly excited about. Adapting to change takes time, but he showed research that demonstrated that those who got more sleep were better to adapt to change. We all agreed that getting more sleep was a concept that we were willing and able to embrace!
A panel of hospital-based experts, including Dr. Skelton, Leo Serrano and Paul Echelard of Broward Health Systems and Priscilla Cherry of Mission Health System discussed “Changing Health Systems from the Clinical Laboratory.” In his role as COO, Mr. Echelard described the importance of the laboratory’s reaching out to leadership and medical staff and engaging in the overall activities of the hospital. In his role as Corporate Director of Laboratory Services, Mr. Serrano shared how his laboratory participates in strategic meetings and informal events with medical staff. Ms. Cherry described the challenges related to implementing broad change and the importance of accepting the different ways that staff adjust to change. Overall, as laboratory leaders, we are in the ideal position to influence and implement change within our organizations. In order to be successful, we must engage, use data and communicate.
In my breakout session, “Strategic Relationships and the Clinical Laboratory: Getting Along in the Future,” I described the different types of business models that laboratories are engaging in today. With pressing financial constraints in healthcare and administration’s overall lack of understanding of the laboratory, there are vulnerabilities that a hospital-based laboratory faces. Complete or partial outsourcing, or outright sale of the outreach program are just a few of the trends that are occurring today. Through partnering or collaborating, within the health system or with other hospitals, the laboratory will be able to realize further integration of testing, provider relationships and patients. A community-based strategy that embraces collaboration, integration and networking will be key to our success.
Integration, Collaboration and Networking. At this professional conference, I see this occurring during every educational session, in the hallways, exhibit hall and dining tables. At KnowledgeLab ’14 we have the brightest laboratory leaders hearing these same messages and learning from each other. We have new information to bring back home with us, some that we can implement immediately, and some that we can use to set a future path for the success of our laboratories.
Tuesday, May 6
Looking forward to Day Two
By Jane Hermansen
Day One was busy, information-packed, awesome (and exhausting). I expect more of the same for Day Two! Using the conference theme of “Connect, Grow, Lead,” here’s what I’m most looking forward to:
- Connect: Further networking with other laboratory leaders from across the country and world. I was privileged to have dinner last night with attendees from Canada, the Middle East, Chicago, Minneapolis and New Jersey. What a great opportunity to share stories and learn from those who work in very different environments.
- Grow: More education and opportunities to learn about new products from the exhibitors in the vendor hall. I’m presenting another breakout session today at 2:15, “Strategic Relationships and the Clinical Laboratory: Getting Along in the Future.” Please stop in, we’ll save a seat for you.
- Lead: I am privileged to be a member of the International Board of Directors for the Clinical Laboratory Management Association. As a leader for this association of leaders, I am actively engaging our members, understanding how the organization can help them in their careers.
And finally, yesterday I saw an old friend, Joe Keary, of Irwin Army Community Hospital in Kansas. Joe was wearing an embroidered shirt that clearly sums up the value of the laboratory (photo below). “Sine Nobis…Sunt Divinare” Joe tells me that the (loose) translation of this Latin phrase is, “Without us, they are guessing.” So true!
Monday, May 5
Day One KnowledgeLab 2014 Recap
by Jane Hermansen (text) and Deb Wells (Photos)
In times of unprecedented change in our healthcare industry, we are faced with two choices: Innovate or become obsolete. I am pleased to say that the clinical laboratory leaders who are attending KnowledgeLab this year are innovators and survivors! Here is what I learned on Day One:
Michael Astion, M.D. Ph.D., of Seattle Children’s Hospital presented the Opening General Session, “Courageous Interventions to Reduce the Use of Unnecessary Laboratory Tests Including Expensive Sendout Tests.” Critical to our organizations’ survival is managing costs and eliminating waste. In his engaging and humorous style, Dr. Astion identified that we are “clogging up the lab with a lot of unnecessary testing so that we are unable to perform the critical testing when we need to.” He encourages that the laboratories are actively engaged in guiding appropriate test ordering by providers. Massive test panels and “quackadoodle” testing are only helping to make our populations sicker, generating falsely positive results which require expensive or harmful follow-up procedures and treatments.
He addressed the challenges that we have getting paid for our testing. Insurance companies are becoming increasingly more restrictive in their policies, which limit or prohibit us from performing appropriate testing. Because the commercial payers must have rules in place, he encourages that the laboratories are proactive and be involved in developing those rules.
Finally, he described the largest challenge that we see face in the clinical laboratory today, which is the aging population of laboratory scientists. Our experienced staff are retiring, and we must attract the brightest and best talent into our profession! “Work in the lab: It’s dignified.”
In my own breakout session, “Laboratory Outreach: Evolution and Alignment for the Future,” I shared how the laboratory outreach program can be part of the solution as our organizations evolve from the current volume-based reimbursement model to a value-based reimbursement model. I discussed how the integration of other facilities and healthcare providers impact the laboratory and the challenges that we face in optimizing that integration. Using ten strategies identified by the American Hospital Association, we identified ways that the laboratory outreach program can aid in optimizing integration and preparing our organizations for the new environment. At the end of the session, attendees were enthusiastic and encouraged that they would be able to influence and add value to their organizations along the ten strategies outlined on this slide:
Utilization Management remains a strong theme at this conference, with six (of 40) presentations having the topic in their title. Junell Peterson of Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar, MN presented about the “Choosing Wisely Campaign” from the American Society for Clinical Pathology and highlighted the role of the laboratory professional in this critical activity. I appreciate her use of the term laboratory professional, because it highlights the importance of the role that we play. The laboratory may be tucked into the dark corners or basement level of our facilities; however we provide a critical service with a high level of professionalism, which provides the foundation for the diagnosis and treatment of our patients.
At the end of Day One, I am optimistic that the laboratory will survive this journey through these times of tumultuous change. Keeping patient care and advancement of laboratory medicine as our signposts, embracing innovation and getting involved in our organizations’ evolutionary process, we are sure to survive.
Monday, May 5
Day One Thoughts
by Jane Hermansen
Every year, the Clinical Laboratory Management Association (CLMA) holds a national educational conference. This year, over 350 laboratory leaders are gathered in Las Vegas, Nevada for the purpose of education, networking and visiting with exhibitors in order to learn more how their products and services can enhance our delivery of laboratory services to our customers and patients.
The conference has three “slogans” this year that I am planning to embrace:
CONNECT: There is no better opportunity than a national conference to network with peers and to learn from them. I’ve been attending this conference for fifteen years, and have many friends that I’m looking forward to seeing, and making some new friends too!
GROW: Professional development and education is a priority for CLMA. Because the clinical laboratory industry is changing so rapidly, this conference provides a tremendous opportunity to learn from industry leaders, in plenary and breakout sessions. A wide variety of topics and laboratory-specific leadership courses are available to attendees.
LEAD: As leaders, we have a responsibility to advance our industry, support our parent organizations, deliver quality results and protect the safety of our patients. The experience at KnowledgeLab will not end when the conference concludes on Wednesday. Leadership is ongoing.
I’ll be presenting two breakout sessions. Monday, May 5, I will be presenting, “Laboratory Outreach: Evolution and Alignment for the Future.” Tuesday, May 6, I will be presenting, “Strategic Relationships and the Clinical Laboratory: Getting Along in the Future.” If you are attending KnowledgeLab this year, I hope to see you!
As for me, I’ll be doing the following:
Sunday, May 4
Mayo Clinic Speakers
The Mayo Clinic Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology will have multiple speakers throughout this year’s Clinical Laboratory Management Association (CLMA) KnowledgeLab 2014 conference in Las Vegas, Nev. For your reference, information about every Mayo Clinic speaker has been organized below. This year, Mayo Clinic personnel will be delivering four presentations.
|Monday 2:15 p.m.||Jane Hermansen||Laboratory Outreach: Evolution and Alignment for the Future|
|Tuesday 2:15 p.m.||Jane Hermansen||Strategic Relationships and the Clinical Laboratory: Getting Along in the Future|
|Tuesday 2:15 p.m.||Jim Hernandez, M.D. M.S., FCAP||The Changing Role of the Pathologist in Laboratory Test Utilization Management|
|Wednesday 9:15 a.m.||Richard Carlson||Effective and Sustainable Employee Training: Job Instruction|
Saturday, May 4
Deb Wells — One of the key activities of this year's conferences is getting together with all of the other leaders of CLMA chapters from around the country. There was a full house at this year's Council of Chapter Leaders meeting! CLMA President addresses the group on CLMA growth and improvements. A great diversity in attendees from both coasts, Hawaii, Haiti, and Canada.
Saturday, May 3
Welcome to Vegas
Deb Wells — Arrived in Las Vegas for the CLMA annual meeting and the various leadership meetings that precede the big event.