LAB MANAGEMENT :: LAB OF THE YEAR UMC continued from page 22

LifeSouth has one of only two Florida donor center- based Medical Technology Training Programs for Blood Bank and Immunohematology (MTBB). Since its incep- tion, 30 MTs have graduated. Up to four qualified stu- dents are hired as LifeSouth employees. Trainees receive full-time benefits and pay, including all books, training materials, license, and exam fees. In exchange, the new med techs make a two-year work commitment. Since its beginning, 90 percent of participants worked beyond their two-year commitment, and 57 percent are still employed.

Teamwork LifeSouth’s laboratories overcome challenges with the help of management and their Medical Directors. Their QA department meets monthly with staff to monitor and discuss deviations, proficiency testing, validations, audits, procedure change requests, and staff training. LifeSouth provides opportunities for staff to recognize the efforts of their coworkers and managers through a sys- tem of “STARS points.” Employees are awarded points on a quarterly basis. Staff members nominate others online, with an explanation of which of the company values a fellow employee exemplifies. Points are then redeemed for prizes.

Strategic outlook

In addition to being a Center of Excellence in the Southeast, the CBB objectives include doubling the size of their hospital network; isolating and expanding mesen- chymal stem cells (MSC) that are capable of differentiating down adipogenic, osteogenic, and chondrogenic lineages; adding an additional Class 6 clean room for cord blood processing; and participating in clinical research projects. Their Laboratory Resource Management team is in the process of implementing a Centralized Order Manage- ment (COM) model. Trained staff will be available 24/7 to receive and coordinate orders which allows for the customer to have a single point of contact. LifeSouth continues to expand. An IRL was brought online in Atlanta and they plan to open another IRL in Jacksonville. They are also working with the National Blood Collaborative to open a donor testing lab in Atlanta, as well as becoming accredited to perform HLA home testing.

More than 70,000 LifeSouth blood donors have been genotyped since 2007 to identify compatible donors for patients requiring red blood cells with special antigen phenotypes for transfusion. As a result, they’re able to support the large sickle cell population and are building a dedicated lab space for molecular testing.

Lab inspections

LifeSouth is a member of and accredited by the AABB. The AABB inspection for Blood Bank and Transfusion Ser- vices in 2017 resulted in zero non-conformances for the laboratories, and the most recent FDA inspection reported no 483 observations. The CBB is one of the first cord blood banks to become accredited by the Foundation for Accreditation for Cellular Therapy (FACT). The CBB is also a member bank of the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP). It has been inspected by the FDA, NMDP, HRSA, and FACT. The QCLs have been inspected by the AABB, FDA, and FACT under the CBB with no deficiencies.

million dollars in savings which is allocated to employees for their Sharing Success Bonus.


The 2018 Employee Satisfaction Survey was nationally ranked at the 99th

percentile. A “Behind

the Badge Campaign” was implemented by UMC and is a standard that addresses the need to value the person behind the badge. This is a recognition, respect, and replenish campaign to assist each employee to take care of themselves. The teamwork at UMC clinical laboratory goes far beyond the clinical setting. Staff volunteers every third Sunday of the month to provide meals to those in need.

Education and training

Education and training within the UMC Clinical Laboratory focuses on enabling employees to engage and grow within their profession, organization, and community. The implementation of a “Career Ladder” bolsters learning and participation via individual projects, maintaining CEU’s by purchasing membership through MediaLab for all employees, organizational participation, and community service. Phlebotomists, processers, and technologists can also benefit from participation by receiving a monetary reward for completion of the criteria and has reward levels of $500, $1,000, $1,500, and $2,000. The clinical lab’s affiliation with TTUHSC allows CLS students to complete rotations within each department; many of who are hired as employees. Lab staff is encouraged to train on- and off- site with every analyzer in each department. Cross training is also encouraged for employees who want to learn the processes of other departments and serves as a pathway for advancement. Leadership encourages staff members to apply and continue their education with CAP to become certified laboratory inspectors. Tuition reimbursement is also offered.

Strategic outlook The clinical laboratory implements pillars for a stra- tegic plan. The pillars serve as a pathway toward suc- cess and align with the culture set forth with UMC hospital. Each pillar focuses on several important actions along with the vision and mission for each department. For example, the service pillar addresses the entire patient experience from stem to stern with the goal to differentiate the clinical lab as the market leader in patient satisfaction.

Lab inspections

In 2018 the clinical laboratory had a successful DMV, FDA, and AABB inspection. An upcoming 2019 CAP inspection has everyone pulling together to ensure compliance and seek out issues needing resolution. UMC’s laboratory had several citations in 2017. Some were corrected on-site, and others had corrective actions performed to ensure compliance. Supervisors delegated additional duties to the technologists to ensure full compliance with CAP. Continuous process improvement is a job that everyone in the laboratory performs.


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