Member Case Study: Expanding CLSI Access With Health System Membership
We were pleased to welcome representatives from CLSI Health System Members Geisinger and HealthPartners during CLSI’s latest member webinar, Expanding CLSI Access With Health System Membership. Our guest speakers discussed how CLSI Health System Membership has benefited their organizations.
Diana L. Kremitske, MHA, MS, MLS(ASCP), Vice President Institute Operations, Laboratory Medicine and Barbara Booth, BS, MT (ASCP) CPHQ, Laboratory Quality Systems Senior Coordinator joined us from Geisinger.
Jeana Houseman, MHSA, DLM(ASCP)CM, Director of Quality, Patient Safety, and Accreditation for Laboratories joined us from HealthPartners.
Geisinger is a fully integrated centralized and regional lab system that performed about 15 million billable procedures last year. Their core laboratory is based in Danville, Pennsylvania, where the majority of their outpatient testing is performed.
Diana and Barbara spoke about three Geisinger initiatives and how they used CLSI standards to implement them.
Business Continuity Planning—Implementation of a Disaster Plan
Diana spoke about how Geisinger used CLSI document GP36--Planning for Laboratory Operations During a Disaster to create a disaster plan.
The guidance found in GP36 helped Geisinger design a plan that includes:
- Checklists and tables for guidance about media communications.
- Plans for human resource issues.
- A contingency plan for vendor supply disruptions.
- A restricted test menu.
- A comprehensive grid listing staff member competencies.
- A contingency plan for backup testing at other facilities within Geisinger’s region.
The plan was tested through tabletop scenarios, resulting in a positive after-action report that described strengths and opportunities for improvement.
Implementation of a Quality Management System
“We looked around for quality management resources and found a very good one at CLSI,” Barbara said. “CLSI has a 13 credit Laboratory Quality Management System course, and we were able to have over 20 people take that course because of our Health System Membership discount. That was really the start of our deeper dive into looking at our current quality management system.”
The self-paced LQMS online learning program shows how to use the QMS model described in CLSI guideline QMS01, A Quality Management System Model for Laboratory Services, to fulfill regulatory and accreditation requirements.
Blood Tube Vendor Change
Another project Barbara spoke about was changing the vendor for Geisinger’s blood tubes. This project involved using multiple CLSI guidelines related to:
- Blood bank
- Flow cytometry
- Hematology and coagulation
- Microbiology fluid culture
- Molecular diagnostics
- Special chemistry (immunoassays, serology, blood gas, and point of care)
Benefits of Health System Membership Noted by Geisinger Leadership
Barbara related that Geisinger’s Pathologist Director of the Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory, who is also a CLSI volunteer, noted some of the benefits of volunteering with CLSI as well as Geisinger’s Health System Membership, which include:
- The ability to influence guideline development to promote patient safety and quality.
- Opportunities to meet and work with colleagues around the country.
- Interacting with colleagues on state-of-the-art technology and practice issues.
- Learning through research and educational projects.
HealthPartners is an integrated health care organization based in Minnesota that provides health care services and health plan financing and administration to more than 1.2 million patients in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. They have 900 laboratory employees and perform around 10 million tests per year.
Jeana explained that although all HealthPartners locations had robust quality management systems and quality control, they were mostly operating as separate entities. As they worked to standardize their policies throughout all locations, they began by creating common definitions using CLSI documents. They’ve written into their document control policy that teams will use the most up to date reference materials available including regulatory standards, scientific literature, industry guidance, product inserts and consensus standards.
“This reminds the team that every time they’re looking at a policy or procedure that they should also be referencing back to the current literature in CLSI documents to make sure that we’re following best practices,” Jeana said.
Jeana noted that another area the team has been working on is how to make decisions as a system. They were able to create a risk assessment tool using CLSI’s risk management guidance that helped with examining current processes and assessing risk associated with them, as well as risk associated with change in process.
Another HealthPartners goal that Jeana spoke about was accreditation standardization efforts. The goal was to go from four different accrediting organizations as well as a state department of health to a single accreditor. She noted that using CLSI’s QMS17—External Assessments, Audits, and Inspections of the Laboratory, 1st Edition, has been a helpful tool for creating a roadmap to go forward.
At the conclusion of the webinar, Jessica Tredway, CLSI’s Customer Relationship Manager, gave an overview of CLSI Health System Membership which included:
- Health System Membership benefits
- An overview of My CLSI
- Delegate responsibilities
- How to appoint an alternate delegate
- Information about CLSI’s new member logo
- Free on-demand webinars
- Information about how to access the Delegate Handbook
- New and upcoming CLSI documents and products
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