ASCP 2018: Boosting Laboratory Productivity While Reducing Costs

Jun 12, 2018

By Dennis Winsten

Medical laboratories and pathology groups face enormous levels of change in their clinical, regulatory and financial environments. With reduced reimbursement, laboratories are under increasing pressure to optimize business practices, improve utilization and cut costs while improving patient care. To meet this challenge, pathologists and lab managers know they must get better at using metrics to support the many operational decisions required to boost productivity while simultaneously reducing overall costs throughout their labs. 

Management thinker Peter Drucker is often quoted as saying that "you can't manage what you can't measure." To effectively compete in a challenging market laboratory management will require the ability to understand and quickly interpret their laboratory’s operational characteristics, track key performance indicators and quickly identify anomalies and negative trends.

My presentation, Advanced Operational and Clinical Analytics–Use and Benefits, on Oct. 5 at the ASCP 2018 Annual Meeting, will describe the latest achievements and examples of both operational and clinical analytics and describe how pathologists can evaluate, select and use analytical software for:

  • Real-time identification of trends, exceptions to standards and benchmarks
  • Retrospective and Prospective Performance Measures
  • Utilization Measurement and Monitoring
  • Quality and service level improvements

Many labs are handicapped in meeting their goals because the performance metrics they use are typically based on data from weeks or even months earlier. Few labs have performance data from the previous day or week, and even fewer labs have real-time performance data. The ability to identify and discern issues and remediate them quickly and efficiently is an important characteristic of a successful laboratory.

Medical laboratories and pathology groups are increasingly looking at analytics, especially real time analytics (RTA) software to provide a competitive edge. RTA can give managers the opportunity to become “problem preventers” instead of just “problem solvers.” This technology allows laboratories to draw on the wealth of business, logistical, and medical data inherent in their laboratory information systems (LIS) and electronic medical records (EMR), enabling them to more effectively make changes to improve workflow, increase efficiency, and identify, evaluate, and solve problems as they are occurring.

To learn more about networking opportunities and the more than 250 hours of cutting edge education, click here.

Dennis Winsten will present Advanced Operational and Clinical Analytics–Use and Benefits on Oct. 5 at the ASCP 2018 Annual Meeting. He is founder of Dennis Winsten & Associates in Tucson, Ariz., which is well known in the healthcare systems industry for its expertise in clinical information systems.