Getting the Jump on Solving Major Lab Issues

Observant laboratory managers and pathologists will note a recurring theme among the business intelligence briefings in this issue of The Dark Report: Solutions to major challenges require proactive steps. 

A case in point comes with our lead story about how to recruit and retain medical technologists (MTs), medical laboratory scientists (MLSs), and medical laboratory technicians (MLTs) in the lab. We went to American Medical Technologists—one of the industry leaders in the accreditation of MTs/MLSs/MLTs—to get their insights and advice on how labs can help increase the supply of skilled scientists. (See story here.) 

Speaking of the staffing shortage among clinical labs, you may not think of digital pathology and artificial intelligence (AI) as solutions to the demand for surgical pathologists, which currently outstrips supply. But at Mayo Clinic, far-sighted pathology leaders established the Division of Computational Pathology and AI not just to achieve faster, more accurate diagnoses, but also to develop working tools that help pathologists be more productive. (See story here.) 

Our theme of being proactive continues with the story that follows on pages 10-14, which addresses the fact that it is difficult to get reimbursed for genetic tests. A panel of experts at the latest Executive War College Conference on Laboratory and Pathology Management recommended that genomic labs take purposeful steps to establish trust with payers before seeking reimbursement for new tests. Health plans need to see the value of a novel genetic test and how it benefits patient care. Clinical laboratories should be thinking ahead on how to collect data to support those two aspects and present it accordingly to payers to win favorable coverage and reimbursement decisions. 

Savvy lab administrators and pathologists know the importance of anticipating how healthcare and laboratory medicine is changing so they can guide their lab teams to develop effective strategies designed to keep their lab organizations at the front edge of clinical excellence in a financially-sustainable manner. Achieving that is a win for both labs and their staff, as well as for the doctors and patients served by their labs. 

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