Judy O'Rourke

Judy O’Rourke

Do you sometimes feel like you’re the one being “tested,” with all of the issues and changes the lab industry is facing?

Clinical laboratory management professionals will convene in Atlanta at the end of the month for the Clinical Laboratory Management Association’s (CLMA) annual conference, swapping information, experiences, and views, and adding to their knowledge base in lab operations and management, patient care and medical best practices, and billing and advocacy. More than 40 educational sessions will be presented.

CLMA’s ThinkLab ’12 will also expand on the tenets of the Body of Knowledge for Medical Laboratory Management (BOK) 10 Domains, an educational system introduced at last year’s conference that aims to provide a guide for professional development as a laboratorian. In the past year, the organization has linked its educational offerings to one of the 10 domains and also provided other resources to the industry.

Getting QC and costs under control are as central to lab operations as handing physicians and patients a precise result. As CMS moves from an equivalent quality control (EQC) strategy to one based on risk management (EP23A, Laboratory Quality Control Based on Risk Management, Approved Guidelines, published in the fall), you may feel as if ground is shaking beneath your feet. Asking and answering the right questions properly is critical to optimal functioning of the lab.

Under the new risk-management method proposed by EP23A, specific questions to be asked about a specific control may yield a different answer, depending on several elements. New CLIA recommendations include this guideline, based on the ISO risk management principles, and recommend that labs formulate, implement, and oversee an individualized QC plan that considers a lab’s environment, personnel, clinical use, patient population, and test systems. Devising the precise QC for a lab will likely be at the forefront of the lab mind-set for the next couple of years.

Judy O’Rourke
Editor, CLP
, (619) 659-1065