Pillar 3: Quality

Strengthen the quality program throughout the department and enhance patient safety

Use this presentation to provide an overview of the “Quality” Pillar of the ASCP Negotiation and Advocacy Toolbox.


Virtual Office Hours: Quality

This virtual office hours session is an open forum for participants implementing laboratory advocacy efforts in their laboratories to seek feedback from ASCP lab leaders.
When: August 9th | 12-1pm CT


Note: Any tools and/or resources used from this Toolkit should be adapted for your own laboratory or health system, as appropriate

Quality Overview

Use this presentation to provide an overview of the “Quality” Pillar of the ASCP Negotiation and Advocacy Toolbox.

Quality Intended Use

Use this document to better understand the documents and tools in each Toolkit and how they can be used to better
advocate for your laboratory’s needs.

Quality Supplementary References

The Quality Supplementary References document is a set of high-quality, reputable sources that you can refer to in your
publications. It could also include websites to enhance the credibility and usefulness of your content. This adds
credibility to your arguments and demonstrates that your assertions are backed by reputable sources.

Tips and Recommendations

How to use Quality to Advocate for your Lab
Review this reference to identify tools that can be helpful when negotiating and advocating for your lab.

Using Quality Lab Metrics to Justify Staffing
Using quality metrics to justify staffing involves demonstrating the lab’s value, efficiency, and effectiveness to
stakeholders. Determine the most relevant quality metrics for your lab. These could include measures such as turnaround
time, accuracy rates, customer satisfaction scores, error rates, and compliance with regulatory standards.

Advocacy Resources: Quality Tools

Quarterly Quality Report Detailed
Use for inspections and as a tool to help senior leaders better understand the requirements and efficiency of the laboratory.

Quality Summary
High-level summary of laboratory quality that can be used to show the value of the laboratory to administrators and other customers.

Laboratory Request Form
Use to demonstrate non-revenue, non-volume producing support activities provided by the lab. Note that an Instruction
box in the document itself is provided with some useful guidance. This box can be deleted after it is read.


Benchmarking the Lab
Determine the key performance indicators (KPIs) and quality metrics that are relevant to your lab’s operations. These
could include turnaround time, accuracy rates, error rates, cost per test, customer satisfaction scores, and compliance
with regulatory standards.

Select Benchmarking Partners: Identify other labs or industry benchmarks that you can use for comparison. These could be
similar labs within your organization, competitors, or industry standards established by regulatory agencies or
professional organizations.

By benchmarking the lab against industry standards and best practices, you can identify opportunities for improvement,
drive performance excellence, and ultimately enhance the quality of lab operations and services.

Blood Utilization

Blood Utilization Metrics to Advocate for your Lab
Develop and follow transfusion guidelines and protocols based on evidence-based medicine, clinical trials, and best
practices. These guidelines outline criteria for transfusion initiation, target hemoglobin levels, and appropriate blood
product selection based on patient characteristics and clinical scenarios.

By optimizing blood utilization practices, healthcare facilities can improve patient outcomes, reduce healthcare costs,
and ensure the efficient use of limited blood resources.

Microbiology Quality Metrics

Sample Microbiology Quality Metrics
Using microbiology quality metrics to advocate for the lab involves demonstrating the lab’s commitment to excellence,
accuracy, and patient safety. Quality metrics in microbiology are essential for ensuring the accuracy, reliability, and
safety of laboratory processes and results. By leveraging microbiology quality metrics effectively, you can advocate for
the lab’s value, expertise, and commitment to delivering high-quality diagnostic services that contribute to improved
patient care outcomes.

Non-Conforming Events

Non-conforming Events to Advocate for your Lab
Using non-conforming events in the lab to justify staffing, automation, and innovation involves leveraging these
incidents as opportunities to improve operational efficiency, enhance quality, and ensure patient safety. By leveraging
non-conforming events to justify staffing, automation, and innovation initiatives, you can position the lab as
proactive, forward-thinking, and committed to delivering high-quality, reliable results while minimizing the risk of
errors and adverse events.

Download PowerPoint

Pathology Quality Metrics

Sample Pathology Quality Metrics
Pathology quality metrics are measurements used to assess the performance and quality of pathology laboratories and
their services. These metrics help ensure accurate diagnoses, efficient laboratory operations, and patient safety.

Patient and Customer Satisfaction

Patient and Customer Satisfaction Surveys to Advocate for the Lab
Using customer satisfaction surveys strategically can indeed be a powerful tool for advocating for the lab. By
leveraging customer satisfaction surveys effectively, you can advocate for the lab, attract and retain talent, secure
funding, foster innovation, and strengthen the lab’s reputation as a provider of high-quality diagnostic services.

Percent AM Draws

Phlebotomy AM Draws to Advocate for your Lab

Percent AM Draws to Advocate for your Lab

Highlight the lab’s ability to efficiently process morning collections by showcasing data on the number of samples
collected and processed during the morning hours. Emphasize the lab’s commitment to timely results reporting, which is
crucial for supporting patient care decisions early in the day and reducing length-of-stay (LOS). Provide data showing
how AM lab draws contribute to reduced wait times for patients, both in terms of scheduling appointments and receiving
test results. Emphasize the lab’s efforts to optimize workflow and minimize delays, resulting in a smoother and more
efficient patient experience.

Pre-analytic Quality Metrics

Sample Pre-analytic Quality Metrics to advocate for your lab
Showcase how improvements in pre-analytic processes have led to greater efficiency within the lab. Use metrics such as
specimen processing time, turnaround time, and specimen rejection rates to demonstrate how the lab is able to handle a
high volume of samples effectively. By effectively leveraging pre-analytic lab quality metrics, you can advocate for the
lab’s commitment to excellence, attract top talent, secure funding for innovation and quality improvement initiatives,
and position the lab as a trusted partner within the healthcare community.

Test Utilization

Test Utilization to advocate for Your Lab
Test utilization is a critical aspect of laboratory management that involves optimizing the selection and utilization of
laboratory tests to ensure cost-effective, high-quality patient care.

Highlight how effective test utilization strategies can lead to significant cost savings for the healthcare
organization. By reducing unnecessary or inappropriate testing, the lab can minimize expenditures on reagents, supplies,
and labor. Present data on cost savings achieved through initiatives such as test stewardship programs or utilization
review committees.

Emphasize how test utilization initiatives help optimize the allocation of resources within the lab. By prioritizing
high-value tests and reducing unnecessary testing, the lab can streamline workflows, improve turnaround times, and
maximize the efficiency of staff and equipment. Illustrate how resource optimization leads to improved productivity and

Download PowerPoint

Test Volume and Productivity

Productivity Calculator
Use to leverage support for additional staffing.

Lab Test Volume and Productivity to Advocate for your Lab
Showcase data on the number of tests performed per day, week, month, or year to illustrate the lab’s capacity and
throughput. Use lab test volume data to inform capacity planning and resource allocation decisions.

Demonstrate how the lab strategically manages resources, staffing levels, and equipment utilization based on projected
test volumes and seasonal variations in demand. Illustrate the lab’s ability to scale operations to meet changing needs
effectively. Illustrate how high lab test volumes and productivity contribute to cost-effectiveness. Showcase data on
economies of scale achieved through increased test volumes, such as reduced per-test costs for reagents, supplies, and
labor. Highlight how productivity improvements lead to cost savings and enhanced financial performance for the lab.

Turnaround Time

Turnaround time to advocate for the Lab
Emphasize how extended TATs can delay diagnosis and treatment, leading to prolonged patient suffering, increased
anxiety, and potentially adverse health outcomes. Provide examples or case studies where delayed test results impacted
patient care negatively, such as delayed treatment initiation or missed opportunities for early intervention.
Length-of-Stay (LOS) Reduction: Highlight the correlation between faster TATs and reduced LOS in hospital settings.
Faster diagnostic test results enable clinicians to make timely treatment decisions, leading to shorter hospital stays
and improved patient flow. Present data or studies demonstrating how optimizing TATs can contribute to LOS reduction and
overall healthcare cost savings.