Issue: Volume XIV No. 14 - October 8, 2007

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Lean, Six Sigma and Laboratory Errors

IT IS TOUGH TO IGNORE THE STEADY DRUMBEAT about patient safety. In every sector of healthcare, accrediting bodies, state legislatures, private insurers, and federal health administrators are instituting programs designed to focus providers on eliminating the sources of medical errors and reducing the variability in care provided to patients. As you will read on pages …

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More Labs Actively Adopt Quality Management

CEO SUMMARY: With almost 300 speakers, attendees, and vendors in attendance from seven countries, Lab Quality Confab was a significant milestone for the global lab industry. On one level, it was a sign that the quality improvement trend has come of age. On another level, it provided ample and powerful evidence that labs using Lean …

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Shiel Medical Lab Grows In Tough NYC Market

CEO SUMMARY: There’s a new lab player emerging in the New York metropolitan market. Shiel Medical Laboratory of Brooklyn, New York, is growing steadily and now reports $50 million in annual revenue. It is taking full advantage of the managed care contracting turmoil and adding new clients at a surprising rate. During the first 12 …

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Roche Diagnostics, Ventana Medical, Aetna, Medicare Competitive Bid Demo

NEW CEO NAMED AT ROCHE DIAGNOSTICS, VENTANA OFFER EXTENDED LAST WEEK, ROCHE HOLDINGS AG announced the appointment of Jürgen Schwiezer to become CEO of Roche Diagnostics, effective January 1, 2008. He succeeds Severin Schwan, who will take over for Franz B. Humer as Roche Group CEO on March 4. Schwiezer is currently President of Roche’s …

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CDC Convenes Institute To Leverage Lab Testing

CEO SUMMARY: In convening the 2007 Institute “Managing for Better Health,” in Atlanta last week, the Division of Laboratory Systems of the CDC invited a broad spectrum of healthcare experts and policymakers to participate. The ambitious goal was to facilitate discussions involving stakeholders such as employers, payers, policymakers, clinicians, and others to identify ways that …

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Medicare Soon Won’t Pay Hospitals for Errors

CEO SUMMARY: CMS issued new rules, effective in October 2008, that it will no longer pay the extra cost of treating patients after preventable errors, infections, or injuries that occur in hospitals. It continues Medicare’s transformation from a “passive payer simply processing claims” to an “active purchaser with a stake in quality and efficiency.” Many …

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Laboratory Error Results In Mistaken Mastectomy

CEO SUMMARY: In New York, because of a laboratory error and wrong diagnosis, a woman underwent a needless double mastectomy. In reporting the case, New York newspapers discovered another case of lab error and both women are suing the labs involved. Each case is a reminder that the public and state healthcare regulators are becoming …

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October 8, 2007 “Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

Evidence is accumulating that the Leapfrog Group is getting the attention of the nations hospitals. It reports that just over half (52%) of hospitals have adopted the Leapfrog Groups’ “Never Events” policy, a list of actions hospitals pledge to take whenever a rare medical error occurs that should never happen to a patient. In its …

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