Executive War College to Show New Opportunities for Labs

As of now, all systems are ‘go’ for live conference, 75 speakers and 400 attendees expected on Nov. 2-3

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CEO SUMMARY: Yes, the pandemic continues and hospitals are running short of beds in many communities. At the same time, 225 million Americans are either vaccinated or have some immunity to COVID-19. Based on the early registrations to attend the 27th annual Executive War College, it appears vaccinated individuals are ready to travel to a live conference and network with their peers. When they gather, they will have access to a full slate of powerful speakers and topics. 

CLINICAL LAB AND PATHOLOGY GROUP LEADERS looking for what’s coming next in healthcare and laboratory medicine will get plenty of insights, predictions, and answers at the upcoming 27th Executive War College, which takes place in San Antonio on Nov. 2-3, 2021.

Speakers and sessions will deal the current dichotomy facing all lab managers. On one hand, hospitals in many regions are again filled with COVID-19 patients. The difference in this wave is that they are 20- and 30-somethings and mostly unvaccinated. This resurgence in hospital admissions continues to stress hospital and health system labs.

Daily Lab Test Referrals

On the other hand, currently 182 million are fully vaccinated and another 43 million have tested positive and thus have some immunity to SARS-CoV-2. These individuals are now visiting their doctors and medical providers seeking routine care. The nation’s labs are again handling about the same number of daily lab test referrals as in the months before the March 2020 onset of the pandemic. 

Simply said, it is necessary for labs to move forward and be innovative in the testing services they provide to their clients, while at the same time continuing to provide COVID-19 testing.

How labs can succeed and prosper in the midst of this dichotomy will be a major theme at the Executive War College. For example, there will be multiple sessions that show lab administrators how to add value with their lab test results in ways that generate new sources of revenue.

Case in point is how a lab can collaborate with payers and providers to identify care gaps and improve patient outcomes in arrangements that generate new streams of revenue for the lab. That is one theme in the session to be presented by Monique Dodd, MT, PharmD, Manager, Enterprise Clinical Services at TriCore Laboratories in Albuquerque, N.M. 

Another important trend is data portability and data aggregation. Because of the large volumes of patient test data that labs create and archive, labs have the opportunity to be major contributors in regional health information exchanges (HIEs). Tim Pletcher, CEO of the Michigan Health Information Network (MiHIN), will describe the progress of what is recognized as one of the nation’s more innovative HIEs. 

Artificial Intelligence

There will be multiple presentations on artificial intelligence (AI) across the span of healthcare, clinical laboratory, and anatomic pathology. Technologies used in artificial intelligence are improving at a rapid rate. Sessions about AI include: 

  • Stan Letovsky, PhD, Associate Vice-President for Clinical Bioinformatics at Labcorp, talking about Labcorp’s use of AI in daily lab operations, interpreting data, and digital pathology.
  • Ajit Singh, PhD, Founder and Principal of Artiman Ventures, on the strategic directions for AI in healthcare and diagnostics.
  • Michael Tarwater, CIO at Gravity Diagnostics, on using data integration and AI to automate processes and generate more clean claims.

FDA Approval of AI Tool

Of special interest for those lab administrators closely following the developments with artificial intelligence, the Executive War College will feature a presentation by Paige on its experience working with the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to obtain clearance for its AI-powered Paige Prostate. 

This marks the agency’s first-ever clearance for a digital pathology AI-powered tool to be used for diagnosis in clinical settings. Paige CEO Leo Grady, PhD, will deliver this presentation (See this article in this issue).

For clinical lab executives looking for new sources of revenue, the opportunity exists to take the automated molecular systems used for SARS-CoV-2 testing and redirect that testing capacity to other types of lab tests in ways that generate more revenue. Several sessions involving lab leaders who are doing this successfully will be featured. 

For pathologists in smaller private practice groups, a new model of private practice pathology is emerging. To share the lessons and successes with this model, TruCore Pathology Founder and Chief Science Officer Adam Cole, MD, and Chief Operations Officer Stephanie Evans, will provide a business case study of TruCore and its collaborators in the PathNet Labs network.

Business Intelligence Needs

Despite the ongoing pandemic, many senior clinical laboratory administrators and pathologists are ready to gather in person to learn what’s working, what’s coming next, and network with industry vendors and consultants. The need for business intelligence remains constant, even more so because of the uncertainties triggered by the pandemic. 

COVID-19 Protocols at Executive War College

IT’S SAFETY FIRST FOR EVERYONE attending the upcoming Executive War College on Laboratory and Pathology Management event, which takes place on Nov. 2-3 at the Hyatt Regency Riverwalk-San Antonio. Even as the vaccination rate continues to climb in the United States, it remains important to follow the directives and recommended protocols intended to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Hyatt Riverwalk Hotel in San Antonio has implemented strict safety and cleaning procedures and returned to hosting live conferences several months ago.

The Executive War College is dedicated to everyone’s safety and follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Guidelines for Organizing Large Events and Gatherings, updated May 20, 2021. At the conference this will include screening questions and temperature checks in conformance with the CDC’s guidelines.

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