How to Extend Standardization Outside the Lab

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.

DEFINITION:
VALUE-BASED CARE

 

34%

 

Percent of total U.S. healthcare payments tied to value-based, alternative payment models (APMs) in 2017

 

23%

 

Percent of total U.S. healthcare payments tied to value-based, alternative payment models (APMs) in 20161

THE C-SUITE

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.”

-Eyas Hattab, MD, MBA, Chair of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, A.J. Miller
Endowed Chair in Pathology, University of Louisville

THE CLINICAL TEAM

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.”

-Michelle Barthel, MT(ASCP), MHA, System Director of Laboratory
Services, Regional Health

THE IT DEPARTMENT

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.’”

-Eyas Hattab, MD, MBA, Chair of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine,
A.J. Miller Endowed Chair in Pathology, University of Louisville

THE PATH TO SUCCESS

1: Prioritize
and Organize

Make a list of your laboratory's needs and determine what additions and investments will help your team achieve its goals.

2: Participate

Take part in interdisciplinary meetings to learn how you can help others in your health system improve patient outcomes.

3: Communicate

Ask leaders in the C-suite and in IT for the resources you need to be successful.

4: Report on Successes

Let physician and C-suite leaders know where your lab is making improvements, and how those improvements should impact them.

5: Build and Improve

Continually refine your laboratory operations to improve efficiencies and meet clinical needs.

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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