This webinar explores the concept of laboratory stewardship as a way of viewing and improving healthcare delivery, through the consistent and persistent search for ways to increase testing efficiency and effectiveness, decrease waste, and therefore improve patient care quality.
The old model for clinical laboratory testing focused largely on a fee-for-service reimbursement environment, where additional volume always translated to additional revenue, and tests were relatively inexpensive. Many laboratorians exerted little influence on provider test utilization practices and opted to simply perform whatever tests the provider ordered, whenever they were ordered. As a result, and not surprisingly, patterns of overutilization, underutilization, and mis-utilization of tests emerged and persisted.
This presentation supports a new model of laboratory service delivery, where laboratory leaders assume new roles of greater involvement and influence in the selection and performance of tests, as part of a collaborative team effort that crosses departmental boundaries. This concept and process has been referred to in recent literature as “laboratory stewardship” and has been the basis for significant patient care improvements in many laboratories. It fits perfectly within the new environment of accountable care organizations, rapid growth of expensive genetic tests, and the ongoing desperate attempts to control healthcare costs. It also fits well with efforts to improve lab testing efficiency and productivity, through the careful selection of QC materials and testing platforms.
This webinar demonstrates, through example and case study, several ways most laboratories, organizations, and patients can benefit greatly from the laboratory stewardship approach. It will emphasize the need to adopt a collaborative proactive approach to healthcare delivery, recognizing that the clinical laboratory is positioned uniquely to exercise considerable positive influence to this effort.
- Understand and be prepared to incorporate the concept of laboratory stewardship as a tool for improving patient care.
- Review and discuss examples and case studies where stewardship interventions have resulted in significant savings and patient care improvements.
- Go forward with a commitment to find and act upon stewardship opportunities in your own organization.