Mayo Medical Laboratories and Mayo Clinic recently held a one-day conference on laboratory test utilization in Denver, Colo., as part of its 27th Annual Conference on Laboratory Outreach. Pathologists and laboratory professionals from across the country heard from many of the leading voices in utilization management, health care reform, and managing the Second Curve.
The keynote speaker was Michael Rock, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at Mayo Clinic Hospitals/Mayo Foundation and an at-large member of the Board of Trustees of the American Hospital Association (AHA) and its Executive Committee. According to a review of the conference in the Dark Daily, Dr. Rock provided attendees with a razor-sharp analysis of key trends in health care, and identified essential steps that innovative hospitals and health systems are taking to reshape their organization in order to provide the range of clinical services needed to support integrated health care and personalized medicine.
Along with Dr. Rock, Leslie Donato, Ph.D., Co-Director Cardiovascular Laboratory Medicine and Co-Director Hospital Clinical Laboratory and Point of Care at Mayo Clinic, presented on utilization management efforts of her institution. Dr. Donator described one project that was designed to reduce unnecessary repetitive laboratory test orders.
Pathologist Jeffery Pearson, M.D., System Medical Director, Laboratories and Pathology at Bronson Methodist Hospital, in Kalamazoo, Michigan, gave another example of effective utilization management during the conference. To address the unnecessary testing that happens because physicians have the habit of ordering tests daily on hospital inpatients, Dr. Pearson and his team looked at daily test orders and worked to achieve a 48 percent decrease in unnecessary test orders.
In addition to key trends in health care and utilization management efforts in testing, Gary Procop, M.D., Medical Director, Enterprise Test Utilization at the Cleveland Clinic, emphasized the need to engage physicians in utilization activities. Since the launch of its utilization management program in 2011, Cleveland Clinic's lab team has recognized $2.7 million in cost savings from improved utilization of laboratory tests.