A clinical laboratory is a laboratory where tests are done on clinical specimens in order to get information about the health of a patient as pertaining to the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease.
Laboratory medicine is generally divided into two sections, each of which being subdivided into multiple units. These two sections are:
Anatomic pathology: Units included here are histopathology, cytopathology, and electron microscopy. Other disciplines pertaining to this section include anatomy, physiology, histology, pathology, and pathophysiology.
Clinical Microbiology: This encompasses five different sciences. These include bacteriology, virology, parasitology, immunology, and mycology.
Clinical Chemistry: Units under this section include instrumental analysis of blood components, enzymology, toxicology and endocrinology.
Hematology: This section consists of automated and manual analysis of blood cells.
Genetics is also studied along with a subspecialty known as cytogenetics.
Reproductive biology: Semen analysis, Sperm bank and assisted reproductive technology.
Credibility of medical laboratories is paramount to the health and safety of the patients relying on the testing services provided by these labs. The international standard in use today for the accreditation of medical laboratories is ISO 15189.
Accreditation is done by the Joint Commission, College of American Pathologists, AAB (American Association of Bioanalysts), and other state and federal agencies. CLIA 88, the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments, also dictate testing and personnel.
In addition, many clinical laboratories have adopted quality management programs such as Six Sigma and Lean quality to improve clinical quality, reduce turnaround time, cut costs, and boost productivity. Lean and Six Sigma are both process improvement methodologies. At a very basic level, Lean is about speed and efficiency, while Six Sigma is about precision and accuracy, leading to data-driven decisions. Lean and Six Sigma methods are finding numerous applications in anatomic pathology laboratories and pathology group practices.
BeaconLBS announced a collaboration with MagnaCare of Garden City, N.Y., last month. The press release issued by the two companies stated that MagnaCare would use the “BeaconLBS Physician Decision Support (PDS) solution with its network of physician and laboratory providers.” MagnaCare describes itself as a company serving “Taft-Hartley funds, TPAs, carriers, and worker’s compensation and no-fault
CEO SUMMARY: Before Medicare’s lab test price cuts went into effect last year, Health Network Laboratories began discussions with private health insurers and nursing home clients about the possibility of renegotiating their contracts. In these discussions, HNL promoted the value it delivers to health insurers in terms of fast turnaround times, lab-test utilization management, and
CEO SUMMARY: By its name alone, the National Correct Coding Initiative (NCCI) Policy Manual implies that it will be accurate and consistent with other coding initiatives. But nine groups representing various clinical laboratories say NCCI guidelines that the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued in December and implemented on Jan. 1 are inconsistent
CEO SUMMARY: For two years, clinical lab professionals at WakeMed Health and Hospitals have tested the use of aerial drones to transport patient specimens from a physicians’ office satellite lab/draw station to the WakeMed Medical Center’s central lab. Late last month, they completed the first successful revenue-generating commercial transport of lab supplies by drone in
Our Editor-In-Chief just finished the daunting task of confirming 125 speakers for more than 80 sessions for our 24th annual Executive War College on Lab and Pathology Management. It is our biggest conference ever! These facts are significant to you for an important reason.
The planning phase for an Executive War College requires requires hundreds of
CEO SUMMARY: In Florida, the Blue Cross Blue Shield contract is coming up for renewal and the question is whether it will renew as exclusive to one national lab company. But Florida is not the only state where BCBS plans are planning to issue new contracts. Among the Blues plans that may ask for proposals
CEO SUMMARY: All clinical labs required to report their private payer lab test price data are now in the midst of collecting that data. One big change in PAMA reporting is that the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services now defines most hospital and health system labs as “applicable labs”and requires them to report
CEO SUMMARY: Hospital and health system lab managers say some vendors of electronic health record systems for independent physicians are aggressively raising the fees they charge labs. Labs serving outreach physicians now pay more in two ways, they say. First, they pay the price the vendor charges to implement an LIS-to-EHR interface. Second, they pay