*The statements below are on behalf of the SCL Health Laboratories, which include: St. Joseph, Lutheran and Good Samaritan in Denver, Colorado; St. Mary’s in Grand Junction, Colorado; St. Francis in Topeka, Kansas; Holy Rosary in Miles City, Montana; St. James in Billings, Montana and St. Vincent’s in Butte, Montana.
Tell us a little about yourself and your relationship to CLSI.
Our health system was established more than 150 years ago by a small congregation of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth. Before health insurance and federal programs (Medicare) much of the financing of our facilities was done by the begging of the Sisters, good will benefactors, and fundraising events. This reputation led local officials to seek the Sisters’ leadership in establishing and operating hospitals throughout our regions. In 1972, the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth adopted a resolution to establish a corporation for the direction and management of our hospitals. In 2000, the corporation changed its name to SCL Health System to more accurately reflect how we work together to strengthen our health care ministry. In 2012, the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth and the Exempla Heath Systems joined together to form SCL Health. To this day, SCL Sisters remain involved on the Boards of Directors, and as staff in our hospitals, clinics, and system services.
In addition to using CLSI documents, some of our lab team members participate in the document review and comment period with CLSI on topics such as quality, critical values, and test utilization.
Tell us a little about your health system and how your laboratories are set up.
There are currently eight hospitals in our system located in Colorado, Montana, and Kansas. Some of our facilities are located in rural areas and some are in suburban areas. Our laboratories have a Laboratory Advisory Council that consists of laboratory managers/directors and our laboratory medical directors who consistently work together to standardize our operations as much as possible throughout our enterprise/system.
What does CLSI provide for your organization?
Our Laboratory Advisory Council has a system-wide membership to reduce our costs, standardize our practices, and provide system-wide laboratory documents. Our Microbiology labs use CLSI documents to provide guidelines for antibiotic cutoffs for susceptibility testing. We use the CLSI documents to standardize our laboratory practices, and tailor those based on locale and patient population. This gives us document access we would not have available as individual caresites.
What is your most frequently used or favorite CLSI product?
Our laboratories use the CLSI documents to ensure we are setting up our laboratory practices (while the same in some cases, but different in other cases because of locale and patient population) according to the highest quality laboratory practices available. Normally, our individual hospitals would not purchase the breadth of CLSI documents the Health System access has provided to us. As a result, we are taking advantage of CLSI publications we would previously not have purchased.
What CLSI document initiatives are you undertaking?
Our health system has recently undertaken a chemistry instrumentation change-out. We will use CLSI documents to help meet requirements for reference range validations, method validations, correlation, and calibrations. Our Microbiology labs use CLSI documents as work guides, and at St. Mary’s we established our IQCP [Individualized Quality Control Plan] and quality standards in the same way. We will be using CLSI’s new eCLIPSE™ platform system-wide to access standards.
What do you like about the new eCLIPSE platform? Has it made it easier for you to access and search through our standards?
The new eCLIPSE platform has created easy access to the CLSI standards. The documents are organized in an easy-to-find format. The only thing we have struggled with is learning to use the program and when printing some of the documents for our facility, we have run into some data record management errors. We have worked with Jessica Chumaceiro, Member and Customer Services Specialist, from CLSI on these errors and have been able to resolve them with minimal effort.
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