“January 7, 2002 Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

Here’s an early conjunction of: 1) consumer demand for sophisticated healthcare services; 2) healthcare ecommerce, and 3) telemedicine. In Cleveland and Boston, major health systems have introduced a Web-based “second opinions” service. In the case of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, patients can log on and learn how to go about getting a second opinion. If the patient decides to go forward, secure Websites guide the patient through the process, including how to get the necessary medical history and diagnostic records to the Cleveland Clinic.


At Partners HealthCare in Boston, the Web site is called “Partners Online Specialty Consultations.” Patients register on a secure Web site and print a letter which they take to their primary physician, who then initiates contact with Partners. Pathologists should take note: By the end of 2001, 250 patients had registered, with most wanting second opinions involving oncology.


It’s an example of both pathology branding and how national pathology centers of excellence will be developed. AmeriPath, Inc. announced on January 3, 2002 that Robert e. Petras, M.D. had joined the Ameripath team as of January 1. Dr. Petras was most recently Chairman, Department of Pathology at the Cleveland Clinic. A noted expert in gastrointestional pathology, Dr. Petras’ arrival at AmeriPath will enhance the company’s credibility in this pathology subspecialty.


Perceptive readers of THE DARK REPORT will recall the other “marquee” pathologist affiliated with AmeriPath. Dermatopathologist A. Bernard Ackerman, M.D. joined the company in July 1999 when it announced the formation of the Ackerman Academy of Dermatopathology, to be located in New York City. As predicted on these pages, pathologists of recognized clinical expertise will increasingly be recruited into pathology companies seeking to develop centers of excellence that, because of recognized clinical expertise, can draw case referrals from a national and international marketplace.


• In Manchester, New Hampshire, the 630-bed Catholic Medical Center has decided to transfer its outreach laboratory subsidiary, New Hampshire Medical Laboratories (NHML), to Pathlab, Inc. of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The transition is underway and should be completed in February. NHML operated for 14 years. PathLab is owned and operated by Laboratory Corporation of America.

• Privately-owned BC BioMedical Laboratories of Vancouver, British Columbia was recently recognized by the Toronto Globe & Mail as one of Canada’s “Top 50 Best Companies To Work For In Canada.” It placed number six on the list. Congratulations to Managing Director Douglas B. Buchanan and his management team!


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