The role and responsibilities of laboratory managers have considerably evolved during the past decades. This revolution has been mostly driven by biological, technical, economic and social factors, such as deepened understanding of the pathophysiology of human diseases, technical innovations, renewed focus on patient safety, cost-containment strategies and patient empowerment. One of the leading consequences is an ongoing process of reorganization, consolidation and automation of laboratory services, whose propitious realization strongly relies on establishing an efficient project management plan. In a practical perspective, the leading drivers of project management in laboratory medicine encompass various activities supporting a clear definition of the local environment, an accurate planning of technical resources, the acknowledgement of staff availability and qualification, along with the establishment of a positive and constructive interplay with hospital administrators. Therefore, the aim of this article is to provide a personal overview on the main drivers and outcomes of project management in laboratory medicine, which will expectedly contribute to construct a new consciousness and an innovative and multifaceted job description of laboratory professionals worldwide.
Giuseppe Lippi, Laura Chiozza, Camilla Mattiuzzi and Mario Plebani
Background: Patient and sample misidentification may cause significant harm or discomfort to the patients, especially when incorrect data is used for performing specific healthcare activities. It is hence obvious that efficient and quality care can only start from accurate patient identification. There are many opportunities for misidentification in healthcare and laboratory medicine, including homonymy, incorrect patient registration, reliance on wrong patient data, mistakes in order entry, collection of biological specimens from wrong patients, inappropriate sample labeling and inaccurate entry or erroneous transmission of test results through the laboratory information system. Many ongoing efforts are made to prevent this important healthcare problem, entailing streamlined strategies for identifying patients throughout the healthcare industry by means of traditional and innovative identifiers, as well as using technologic tools that may enhance both the quality and efficiency of blood tubes labeling. The aim of this article is to provide an overview about the liability of identification errors in healthcare, thus providing a pragmatic approach for diverging the so-called patient identification crisis.