Laboratory Medicine Quality Improvement
The purpose of this program is to systematically identify, develop, and pilot test laboratory medicine quality/performance measures addressing evidence-based gaps to improve public health by measuring whether the use of laboratory services is safe, timely, efficient, effective, equitable and patient-centered. Five cooperative agreements representative of diverse laboratory settings (hospital inpatient, outpatient, state public health lab, anatomic pathology, and integrated prepaid health care system), patient populations, and healthcare issues (newborn screening, chronic disease, health care quality, and patient safety) have emphasized the broad applicability of these measures.
Laboratory medicine quality improvement research supports the health reform goals to improve healthcare quality and safety and reduce healthcare spending attributable to ineffective care. Evidence-based practices resulting from the initiative have the potential to reduce overuse and misuse of laboratory testing and improve patient safety through use of improved laboratory practices.
The purpose of the Laboratory Medicine Best Practices initiative is to develop and apply methods for evidence reviews and evaluation of quality improvement practice effectiveness to formulate recommendations for evidence-based best practices in laboratory medicine.
The strategy for this initiative involves use of transparent and innovative systematic review methods using published and unpublished data that are available to evaluate the effectiveness of quality improvement practices for critical activities in laboratory medicine. A revised technical method was necessary to achieve this for laboratory practices and was developed by LMBP experts now known as the A-6 Cycle. (Laboratory Medicine Best Practices: Systematic Evidence Review and Evaluation Methods for Quality Improvement)
The LMBP Team works with many laboratory medicine, health care and evidence review experts to bridge the gap between evidence-based methods and laboratory medicine by collaborating with diverse stakeholder organizations and partners.
For more information about the Laboratory Medicine Best Practices initiative and how you and your organization can participate, please visit www.futurelabmedicine.org LMBP Network participants can submit data, including studies for potential inclusion in evidence reviews and suggestions for new and existing review topics. The LMBP Network will serve as a registry and for surveillance purposes.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) convened seven Institutes from 1984 to 2007 on critical issues in clinical laboratory practice (http://wwwn.cdc.gov/dls/institutes/). These institutes brought national and international experts together to focus on the role of the clinical laboratory in providing quality testing services for improved patient outcomes. The Clinical Laboratory Integration into Healthcare Collaborative (CLIHC)™, established by CDC’s Division of Laboratory Science and Standards (DLSS), is addressing some of the recommendations from the past institutes by focusing on important “gaps” that must be filled to optimize the ability of practicing clinicians to effectively utilize laboratory services for better patient care.
CLIHC™ Projects focus on
- key challenges clinicians face in appropriate laboratory test selection and result interpretation and
- potential solutions to these challenges.
Reducing the challenges that healthcare providers face in appropriate laboratory test selection and result interpretation will lead to improved utilization of laboratory services and a reduction in diagnostic and treatment errors and delays.
CLIHC™ Project Fact Sheets can be found here.