On Monday, May 4, 2015, a number of CLSI staff members had the opportunity to tour the lab facilities of one of our valued member organizations, Penn Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. It was a wonderful learning experience for CLSI staff to see how our daily work relates to a functioning lab system.
The lab we visited receives 13,000+ specimens per day from various locations, so we were given insight to the challenges a large lab system faces and what resources it needs from CLSI. The tour generated some great ideas for standards in regard to the development challenges labs face, policies and procedures they could develop, and some additional assistance we could provide for accreditation preparedness.
“It was impressive to see first-hand how a lab works and to see the true effectiveness that the lab can have in influencing the management of patients and clinical outcomes. The tour helped me to better understand that lab testing is the backbone of medicine,” noted Jessica Chumaceiro, Member and Customer Services Specialist, CLSI.
CLSI staff toured the central lab with Deborah Mincarelli, the Administrative Director of the Laboratory Medicine Division, who detailed the path of workflow in the lab. We were able to see the technological updates the lab is implementing, which served as a reminder that although automation and IT can help improve a lab, qualified and highly trained lab scientists are still the most important parts of the lab system. Ms. Mincarelli, a CLSI volunteer, focused on the importance of quality in her lab and explained how the lab uses CLSI documents to help develop its policies and procedures.
“I was impressed with the director’s enthusiasm and passion for having the best-possible lab. She wanted to ensure that it runs smoothly and efficiently so it can report accurate patient results as soon as possible, because that result is for someone’s friend or family member. It was nice to hear that they want to know about all of the latest CLSI documents (and what’s publishing soon) so they can put them to good use,” highlighted Lori Moon, Senior Standards Project Manager, CLSI.
We were then given a tour of the microbiology lab by Paul H. Edelstein, MD, the Director of the Clinical Microbiology Laboratory and a Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Edelstein gave us an overview of the lab where we received a first-hand look at plating and mass spectrometry machines in use. He, too, focused on quality being of the utmost importance in a lab setting.
As for myself, working in Marketing Communications, the tour allowed me to put my work into a broader context. I was able to see everything I write about in our communications and read about on social media being used in a real-life setting. It was also very impactful to learn more about how and why a lab uses our standards.
The tour was an important reminder that at the end of the day, CLSI and all of our members have something in common: the vision of quality practices for better health care.
—Megan Scanlon, Marketing Communications Specialist