The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Laboratory Effectiveness: Clinical Laboratory Utilization. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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UM Team Projects to Improve Laboratory Effectiveness

Your laboratory or medical organization may have already identified two or three projects that a UM team could tackle (these projects are often the initial impetus for creating a UM team in the first place). Given the different perspectives of all those in the group it won't take long to create a list of improvement ideas. You can then sort through the ideas and identify which ones are most apt to:
  1. Increase quality of care
  2. Decrease errors
  3. Save costs
  4. Save time
  5. Be accomplished (don't take on more than your group can achieve)
  6. Reduce unnecessary patient workups or procedures
  7. Reduce complexity (increase efficiencies and workflows)
In this course, we will describe several areas that a UM team can address. The specific topics will have obvious significance to the laboratory professional. As each of the topics are presented, think about the changing landscape of medicine and laboratory testing. Consider factors such as direct-to-consumer marketing of tests, increased patient awareness of tests, and the rapid increase in the number of laboratory tests (genetic tests in particular) that are available.
Some Typical UM Issues:
  • The volume of outside (referred) laboratory testing
  • Obsolete tests or tests of limited value
  • Over-bundled tests
  • Defining stat testing
  • Frequency of testing (inpatient and outpatient)
  • How the electronic medical record (EMR) can be used as a utilization tool
  • Developing clinician report cards
  • Genetic testing