How Labs Can Thrive Despite Healthcare Reform
Friday, April 26, 2013
Medical laboratories today are threatened by larger players—insurance companies and large medical centers—buying their facilities, combining services, and cutting costs—including jobs.
“We’re on the verge of one of the largest changes in health care since Medicare was first formulated. Laboratory professionals need to show the cost effectiveness of their own laboratories. If laboratory professionals work at a medium-size hospital that has its own laboratory, they may think they’re safe. But that’s not true.”
— David Glenn, MASCP, MLS(ASCP)CM
“We’re on the verge of one of the largest changes in health care since Medicare was first formulated,” says David Glenn, MASCP, MLS(ASCP)CM. “Laboratory professionals need to show the cost effectiveness of their own laboratories. If laboratory professionals work at a medium-size hospital that has its own laboratory, they may think they’re safe. But that’s not true.”
Mr. Glenn, consultant and the former CEO at Pathology Services, P.C., in North Platte, Neb., will explain about how laboratory professionals can prepare for healthcare reform during a session he will present, “50 Ways to Direct Your Lab,” at ASCP 2013 Chicago, Sept. 18–21, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. His session will take place from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 20. The fee for individuals who register by May 15 is $599, a savings of $400.
He will describe how laboratories can develop shared management work teams, which are cost effective and can be very instrumental in responding to the changing healthcare environment.
“Shared management work teams provide much more flexibility on the job and eliminate a lot of middle management,” Mr. Glenn says. “They allow the team to know what needs to be done and when it needs to be done, and empower the staff to direct their own jobs.”
The teams manage their own scheduling, order inventories, watch quality assurance, and quality control. In this evolving era, it is imperative for laboratory professionals to convince their owners that their facilities are cost effective. For many of today’s laboratory managers, if they cannot implement a participatory style of management, they will be replaced, according to Mr. Glenn.
During the ASCP 2013 session, he will also talk about how laboratory professionals can motivate their staff, which is particularly important during this era of profound change. He notes that money is not always the primary driver at keeping employees happy.
“Laboratory professionals are often promoted because they do a very good job on the bench,” Mr. Glenn says. “On the bench, laboratory professionals are always looking for a fault to test. They do such a good job on the bench that they get promoted and then use the same approach in their new position as supervisor.
“But the last thing we need to do, as supervisors, is try to make people perfect and then pick out all of their faults. It’s a 180-degree different approach to dealing with humans and trying to get the best out of them. We need to be more communicative and show appreciation in order to build morale. It all goes hand in hand with maintaining an effective laboratory.”
ASCP 2013 will feature more than 180 sessions and 200 hours of scientific education focusing on core curriculum, innovative science, and beyond the lab. To see the educational sessions and register for ASCP 2013, visit www.ascp.org/ASCP2013.