We all know Science Officer Spock, right? Cool. Calm. Logical.
do you suppose he would say about your lab?
Are your test menu choices logical?
Are your workflows lean and efficient?
Are your records and documents pristine?
Are you fully staffed?
Did everyone score 100% on their Competency assessments?
Is your staff engaged and is morale high?
And of course, all decisions are made without emotion or politics...right?
your lab is anything like the ones I’ve worked at in the past, it’s
probably a mixed bag. Some parts
of your operation are flying high, others
stumble from time-to-time. Spock
would not be pleased.
the perfect lab (or pharmacy, or nursing unit, or imaging department,
or….) is a practical impossibility, and none of us can boast to
Vulcan greatness. Nonetheless,
all students of continuous improvement of one flavor or another –
be it TQM, CQI, QM, Lean, Six-Sigma or something else. We are all
involved in processes that incrementally improve our quality over
our industry is bogged down by some of the same issues year after
year. The CLIA regulations we live under are now 31 years old –
and yet the industry still faces deficiencies
in the areas of competency
personnel qualifications, amongst
others. The requirements are not difficult, and the solutions are known. AACC published an excellent article on this topic in Clinical
it reviewed findings from CAP, COLA, CMS and TJC surveys.
authors rightly point out that “Regulatory compliance is the
responsibility of every individual that works in a laboratory.” This means a Culture of Quality.
a Culture of Quality is perhaps the best way to move towards zero
deficiencies. In all honesty, it is hard work, takes organizational discipline,
visible executive buy-in, and the right set of tools and resources to do the job.
Reminding staff that quality occurs in every step of the analytical
process can never be overstated. Acquiring the right tools does
involve cost – but the cost of a deficiency is likely higher.
Consider the last deficiency your lab (or another lab) received. How
many staff hours went into resolving the issue, documenting the
changes, writing the plan of correction, and then monitoring
performance thereafter? Was
there more than one deficiency? The financial and management burdens
just keep coming.
Although we're all looking forward to a new year, now is the time to look back at your operation honestly, and isolate areas for improvement. Make a list of those areas you know need improvement, and budget the time and resources to make improvements. Get involved in being a champion for quality.
It's a big job. Focusing on one area at a time will help to keep the tasks from becoming overwhelming.
StaffReady healthcare software provides cloud-based solutions that automate staff scheduling, competency assessment, and document control for healthcare organizations. StaffReady is Clinical Workforce Management Software. We'll help you get close to Vulcan greatness!
at StaffReady wish you the Happiest of Holidays and a Most Logical
be at the ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting in Las Vegas, December 9-11.
Come visit us at booth 411!