Title

Participate in clinical rounds/schedule regular discussions with clinical staff to harmonize services provided and received

Why

Many misunderstandings can evolve when there is no communication between the laboratory and clinical staff; clinical staff is not well informed of the laboratory services and the laboratory staff are less well involved in the clinical situation: the distance between clinicians and laboratory staff grows and the trust of clinicians in laboratory services decreases. This in turn can lead to unnecessary repeat testing or less utilization of laboratory services, hence less evidence based diagnostic decision making. Communication between the laboratory and the clinical staff is therefore crucial and a very good method to optimize laboratory services.

What

Laboratory staff members must regularly participate in clinical rounds and meetings between clinical staff and laboratory staff should be held to create insight and understanding of the situation and viewpoints of both sides.


In clinical rounds the laboratory staff gets more insight in clinical situations and it brings the laboratory staff closer to the patient. The laboratory staff member in turn can educate the clinicians on laboratory tests that can be of use in various clinical situations (i.e. bring the clinician closer to the laboratory).


If the laboratory organizes regular meetings (for example: every quarter) with clinical staff in addition to participation of laboratory staff in clinical rounds, the laboratory creates opportunities to solve misunderstandings between both parties but also to solve problems together and thus create a solution that works best for both the laboratory and clinicians. Moreover, clinicians can inform the laboratory about their work, providing the laboratory with the opportunity to adapt its services to make them most useful for the clinicians. In return the laboratory can inform clinicians about laboratory testing and formally introduce new tests that become available, which may lead to better understanding of, and adherence to laboratory procedures by clinicians. For example: if clinicians regularly send samples to the laboratory in wrong containers the laboratory can explain that this is a problem because the sample integrity is compromised or the containers often leak. This creates insight amongst the clinicians and may lead to better adherence to laboratory guidelines regarding use of correct sample containers. The other way around: the clinicians could also indicate that they have a problem with the sample container required by the laboratory, for example because it is difficult to use the containers. This creates insight amongst laboratory staff and the laboratory can find a solution together with clinicians that satisfies both parties.

How & who

Laboratory Manager:

  1. Authorize staff members to participate in clinical rounds with clinicians. The most appropriate staff members are those that were also authorized to communicate with clients in the previous activity. If you yourself are not one of these staff members: it is also important that you also participate in clinical rounds.
  2. Arrange that the authorized staff members can participate in a clinical round with clinical staff at least every quarter.
  3. Arrange a meeting with clinical staff and laboratory staff on a quarterly basis. For organization of these meetings it is convenient to make a program. The laboratory could for example present about a certain laboratory topic, such as a (new) examination, implementation of the quality management system, etc. Also identify topics for discussion, such as possible problems (e.g. frequent disobedience to a laboratory guideline by clinicians). Include time for discussion of possible problems the clinicians may have regarding laboratory services.
  4. Make minutes of these meetings and archive these minutes in the folder Minutes behind a new tab titled Clinical Staff Meetings. If action points arise from these meetings, ensure that they are executed and provide feedback about the execution to clinical staff in the next Clinical Staff Meeting.

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This activity belongs to the QSE Customer Focus

 

ISO15189:2007: 4.7
ISO15189:2012: 4.7
ISO15190:2003: