Lower Mainland Pathology & Laboratory Medicine wins 7th annual CLMA Pre-Analytical Excellence Award

Jul 9, 2015 | PHC News

The Clinical Laboratory Management Association (CLMA)’s Preanalytical Excellence Award recognizes lab professionals in leading health care organizations that are committed to patient safety and quality improvement in the pre-analytical phase of clinical laboratory testing, which includes the identification of the patient and collection, handling and processing of a specimen before testing.

Both published and internal Lower Mainland Pathology & Laboratory Medicine (LM Labs) statistics had identified the pre analytic phase of testing as the largest source of laboratory errors, which is a potential risk to patient safety.

Recognizing this area for improvement, the LM Labs quality team designed and conducted a patient identification review across all LM Lab sites. Collaborating with frontline staff members and site supervisors, the quality team assessed what was happening in each of the sites by validating pre-analytical procedure compliance in person with staff, and, when needed, correcting and educating in a real-time environment.

The findings from the quality team’s patient identification review led to the development of procedures that will embed quality consistently in the pre analytic process across all LM Labs. And the initiative has also improved connections and strengthened relationships with teams and frontline staff.

The award sponsor, BD, and the selection committee of the CLMA said they were extremely impressed with the program and outcomes, as this LM Labs initiative improved patient safety, demonstrated cross-functional collaboration beyond the lab, and was not only recognized but was endorsed by the executive as contributing to organizational strategic objectives.

LM Labs became a consolidated service in 2010, as part of the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA). Spanning four health authority regions (Fraser Health, Providence Health Care, Vancouver Coastal Health and PHSA) the service operates thirty-one laboratories and thirty-two specimen collection centres across the Lower Mainland. Work to optimize and standardize laboratory services across four regional health authorities, which serve a total population of more than 2.6 million people, is unprecedented in Canada.