Bridging the Schism within your Laboratory

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THERE’S A SIGNIFICANT SCHISM BECOMING VISIBLE within the house of laboratory medicine. I am calling your attention to this development because this schism probably exists within your own laboratory organization.

On one side are a very large number of pathologists, lab administrators, and laboratory scientists who have yet to acknowledge that the lab testing marketplace they have known their entire career is coming to a rather swift end.

On the other side are the forward-thinkers in your lab. These are the individuals who are quick to read the tea leaves. They understand the implications of different healthcare trends on the ability of your lab to deliver high quality lab testing services in a financially-sustainable manner.

It is important for you to distinguish between these two groups and the schism that divides them, because it represents either conflict or opportunity for your lab organization. The conflict will come because those individuals who have yet to recognize and accept the fundamental changes in care delivery and how providers are to be reimbursed will firmly defend maintaining the status quo despite the best efforts of the forward thinkers in your lab.

The opportunity will be based on the success of the lab’s forward thinkers, in collaboration with senior administration, to win over the group wanting to maintain the status quo. Both groups within your lab need to understand how healthcare’s evolution requires your lab to evolve in parallel and introduce new lab services that deliver value to physicians, patients, and payers.

Just as this schism exists within your laboratory organization, it also exists within the various national clinical lab and pathology societies, associations, and colleges. Across their memberships—and among their officers and boards of directors—the same schism exists. This fact is reflected in the content of their newsletters, bulletins, and current event blogs (distinct from their clinical journals), where few stories are published that inform members about the real-world, down-and-dirty things happening in today’s rapidly-evolving healthcare marketplace.

Here at THE DARK REPORT, we experience this same schism. We are regularly praised by readers for our candid, forthright reporting of these often-negative issues. But we also hear other readers who express their desire to have most all of the editorial content focus on more positive aspects of lab management.

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