How to Extend Standardization Outside the Lab
As the healthcare industry shifts from its traditional fee-for-service payment system to models of reimbursement that reward providers for care quality and value, laboratory standardization is proving vital to success. Consolidating multiple labs to a single site can help pathologists and their teams work more efficiently. It can also help them to eliminate redundancies, which is critical as health systems look to reduce and control costs. And finally, it can lead to better patient outcomes—but only if the right stakeholders are engaged in the process.
Here's a look at who those stakeholders are and how laboratorians can work with them to ensure end-to-end quality across the continuum of care.
Percent of total U.S. healthcare payments tied to value-based, alternative payment models (APMs) in 2017
Percent of total U.S. healthcare payments tied to value-based, alternative payment models (APMs) in 20161
Health system leaders are laser-focused on reducing costs, but they're also interested in any new project that can improve care quality. Work closely with executives to ensure your interests are aligned.
“Alignment of vision between the organization leadership [and] the laboratory leadership is exceptionally important.”
Because physicians and clinical staff have direct contact with patients, it's important that standardization initiatives include them in all stages of the planning and implementation process. Understand the clinical team's needs so you know where to focus your improvement efforts.
“Make sure you have a seat at the table in interdisciplinary meetings. It's important to have your lab team sitting on committees with other departments.”
Information technology is important to any laboratory's success. Communicate with IT leaders so they know exactly what technologies your lab needs to work efficiently and effectively.
“I personally believe that for a laboratory to be successful, you have to…be assertive [with IT] and say, ‘Well, this is what we need in the laboratory. These are our own priorities.’”
THE PATH TO SUCCESS
1. Health Care Payment Learning & Action Network. Measuring Progress: Adoption of Alternative Payment Models in Commercial, Medicaid, Medicare Advantage, and Medicare Fee-for-Service Programs. October 22, 2018. Available at: https://hcp-lan.org/2018-apm-measurement/
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