Jane Hermansen, Network Manager at Mayo Clinic Medical Laboratories in Rochester, Minnesota, recently authored an article featured in MedicalLab Management on laboratory outreach. The article covers laboratory outreach fundamentals to develop successful programs.
Hermansen discusses the following:
Success Starts with Leadership: Significant support from facility leadership is key to the success of any outreach initiative. Leadership sets the tone for engaging with the community and is the best source for acquiring necessary resources to support the program.
Identify Opportunity: Nearly every hospital laboratory works with some degree of excess capacity. Capitalizing on known downtime and leveraging greater testing scope and capacity can be focused directly on outreach activities. The ability to clearly estimate opportunity begins with an understanding of workload capacity and its alignment with customer needs within a specific target market segment.
Establish Outreach Building Blocks: All outreach begins by creating awareness in the local health care community that the hospital laboratory can provide valuable services, and this requires a concerted effort directed toward establishing and maintaining relationships with providers.
Laboratory Outreach Workflow: A successful outreach program includes test ordering, specimen collection and transportation, establishing test workflow, ensuring proper reporting, and minding the money.
According to Hermansen, a successful laboratory outreach program cannot begin and grow, nor thrive, without adequate support from facility administration. In order to continue to maintain support for this strategic initiative, organizational leadership requires continual communication from the laboratory regarding the status—and success—of the outreach program. The laboratory must routinely monitor (and report) financial and key performance indicators and demonstrate outreach value and impact to the organization.
Every outreach program must be built upon this set of building blocks, and the program that expands upon the fundamentals, exceeds customer expectations, and continually demonstrates its value to its organization will be the one that realizes a higher level of success.