Behind the Scenes in the Medical Laboratory
Medical Lab Week is April 22-28
April 20, 2012
Behind the scenes in the Franklin Memorial Hospital Laboratory are the professionals who deliver high quality service for their patients and providers.
National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week (Lab Week) is an annual celebration of the more than 300,000 medical laboratory professionals around the country who perform and interpret more than 10 billion laboratory tests in the United States every year.
Since lab professionals often work behind the scenes, few people know that the critical testing they perform every day saves lives, reduces morbidity, and helps control the cost of care. Many health care decisions, from diagnosis through therapy and prognosis, are dependent on laboratory testing results. Laboratory medicine provides a crucial thread that runs through the entire patient care process.
The FMH lab performed more than 400,000 test procedures and served more than 45,000 patients in 2011. The outreach program includes more than 30 client offices, from Rangeley to Livermore Falls, and provides daily courier service to pick up samples and deliver them to FMH for testing.
The FMH lab is not just focused on delivering fast, accurate results to providers, but is constantly changing methods and test menu options to anticipate and accommodate patient and providers’ future needs. This past year the chemistry department added HIV 1, HIV 2, IgM Mononucleosis, and Legionella Urinary Antigen testing to the menu, bringing the number of in-house Chemistry tests more than 100. TT3, Free T3, Vitamin D, Testosterone, and some Hepatitis testing will soon be available at FMH as well. Advances in Hematology are providing more in-depth analysis of CBC’s. Implementation of the Meditech Blood Bank module (and future Pathology module) will streamline work flow, improve patient security, and provide faster accessibility for providers to patient records. The recent electronic health record interface among the lab and local doctors offices has also improved access to lab results. Modified PCR (gene amplification) was introduced by the Microbiology lab for faster, accurate detection of toxigenic Clostridium difficile.
The Franklin Memorial Laboratory is a full service lab, inspected and accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP), Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments, the FDA, the AABB, and Joint Commission. CAP accreditation is the highest attainable standard in the U.S. and Canada for medical laboratories.
The FMH medical laboratory employs 44 professionals; pathologist, histologists, cytologist, medical technologists, medical technicians, phlebotomists and clerical staff. This team of professionals delivers high quality service for their patients and providers. Lab Week is a time to recognize and honor their commitment to health care.
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