Pathology Associates Of Lexington, P.A.
Pathology Associates Of Lexington, P.A.
Pathology Associates Of Lexington, P.A.
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        Medical Director of Pathology & Lab. Medicine Responsibilities

When our 100 bed hospital opened in late 1971, Dr. Calvert was a solo pathologist filling this role alone. In  the late 1970s, our hospital desired to gain administrative control of the lab. During two years of contract negotiations in early 1980s, the pathology group was made to be "resource medical directors" (rather than "in charge", leadership medical directors). In about 1980, Dr. Carter accepted the position of being the new Medical Director of a downtown Chicago Hospital which had failed Joint Commission inspection of its administratively run lab for the second time and was under threat of sanction. Dr. Carter resurrected that lab as a real pathologist leadership medical director. He joined the group here in Lexington in 1984 and was instrumental in converting the directorship back to a true pathologist leadership medical directorship. There have been at least two serious non-pathologist attempts to alter this directorship situation. But, we remain a fully leadership medically directed lab now (4/2005) serving the busiest ER in South Carolina, one of the highest-volume birthing centers in South Carolina, a 110-doctor MSO, and over 300 acute-care general hospital beds.

Here is one example of a single simple but important director's memo with decisive leadership direction on a single computer issue . Since 1971, there have been multiplied hundreds of such directorate memoranda; and there have been vast numbers of less formal medical-directing verbal & written communications within our group & lab in order to maximize efficiency toward the optimization of patient diagnosis & care tailored to our unique set of circumstances. Communications flow there-from to other components of the Lexington catchment area, the Lexington County Health Services District (LCHSD), and to physicians [example] and their offices.

DHEC, CLIA, JAHCO, CAP, AABB and other accreditation organizations have extensive (wide & deep) requirements for directorship responsibilities. Medical directorship is facilitated by having additional pathologists secondarily responsible for each area/subdivision of the lab. Our group is very extensively involved in all areas, the involvement falling under the following example headings (not a complete list):

  • Assuring provision of pathologist consultations about the medical significance of clinical laboratory test information.
  • Assure proper performance of all anatomic pathology procedures.
  • Assure responsiveness to appropriate persons with questions regarding quality assurance and significance of test information.
  • Assure that all pathologists serve as active members of the medical staff, with reasonable and appropriate involvement in inter-departmental and inter-specialty activities.
  • Assure that the pathologists and the laboratory operation relate and function effectively with accrediting and regulatory agencies, administrative officials, the medical community, the medical device supplies and services industry, and the patient population served.
  • Define, implement, and monitor standards of performance in quality control, quality improvement and cost effectiveness of the pathology and clinical laboratory services.
  • Assure monitoring of all work performed in the laboratory in order to determine that medically reliable data are being generated (to include a reasonable SOP for delta checks and alert values), to assure effective and timely response to concerns about such from those who utilize the department of pathology and laboratory medicine.
  • Assume responsibility for implementation of the laboratory's Quality Improvement Plan.  The Director (or designee) and professional laboratory personnel participate as members of the various quality improvement committees of the hospital.
  • Insure that there are sufficient qualified personnel with adequately documented training and experience to meet the needs of the laboratory's service to medical staff and patients.
  • Assure that a system is in place to provide annual competency testing for all who conduct laboratory testing.
  • Strategic planning: Develop plans, set goals, and develop and allocate resources appropriate to institutional goals, medical staff needs, and patient care needs.
  • Administrative and management responsibilities: assure provision of effective administration of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, including budget planning and control, with responsible financial management appropriate to the breadth, depth, and intensity of laboratory services.
  • Educational responsibilities: assure the availability of appropriate educational programs for the medical and the laboratory staff and assure reasonable participation in educational programs of the hospital.
  • Implement and direct research and development of laboratory services, as appropriate.
  • Select and monitor all reference laboratories for appropriateness and quality of service, with a FYI-type of  MEC approval.
  • Assure a safe laboratory environment in compliance with good practice and applicable regulations.
(posted 3 March 2005; latest addition 9 May 2005)  
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