American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), Chicago, Joel M. Shilling, MD, FASCP, compares the collaboration needed for the patient care team to that required in the sport of dragon boating.As he takes the helm as the 2012–2013 President of the
Dragon boats—a relatively new sport in the United States—involve a 40- to 48-foot canoe with 20 crew members, each using paddles and following orders of a commander, who communicates a strong, organized plan.
Shilling makes clear his analogy: A patient improvement team must involve not only the laboratory pathologist and laboratory professionals, but also the treating physician and radiologist.
“We are limited by resources,” he said. “To meet patients’ needs, we have to do the right tests, at the right time, for the right reason. The laboratory professionals and the pathologist can help the clinician select the most effective test to get to the diagnosis, and then they will select the most efficient therapy.”
These tenets are embraced in the plan that ASCP has created, Stronger Together, supported by four values — Knowledge, Advancement, Collaboration, and Global Community. Stronger Together is about connecting two distinct sides of the laboratory — pathologists and laboratory professionals — as the entire laboratory team; about forging alliances with other like-minded organizations; and about developing multidisciplinary healthcare teams that include pathologists and laboratory professionals to ensure the optimum patient outcomes.