R. Lewis Dark:
Hospital's Closing Is a Lab Industry Opportunity
NEWS OF THE ORDER by the New York State Department of Health (DOH) to
close Peninsula Hospital Center in Rockaway for at least 30 days because of
deficiencies in the hospital laboratory is slowly filtering throughout the clinical
laboratory industry. (See pages 7-10.)Not getting The Dark Report in your mailbox every 3 weeks?
It was on February 23, 2012, when DOH issued an order for summary action
against Peninsula Hospital and Guanghui Kong, M.D., Ph.D., who is shown on
the 173-bed hospital's website as "Director, Pathology" and is believed to be the
hospital laboratory’s Medical Director of record. In the order, DOH wrote that the
laboratory’s state permitwas suspended for 30 days because deficiencies identified
during DOH inspections on February 20 and 21 were of such nature that "the
public health, safety and welfare is in imminent danger."
This is a significant event. It is uncommon for any state or federal agency
to take actions which effectively shut down all or part of a hospital's clinical
services due to deficiencies in the laboratory. Because these deficiencies in the
lab were a major factor in the decision by the New York DOH to issue a 30-
shutdown order, it is important for pathologists and laboratory administrators
across the nation to get accurate information as to the circumstances that
unfolded within this hospital laboratory.
In my view, this is an opportunity for leaders of the nation's various laboratory
associations and societies. To date, press coverage of laboratory deficiencies
at Peninsula Hospital Center have not been balanced by interviews
with informed experts in laboratory testing and clinical laboratory management.
That means the public has been left on its own to assess what risks to
patient health were involved in this particular case.
That is why I ask you, dear reader, this question: "Would it not benefit the
profession of laboratory medicine if an independent review team comprised
of pathologists and laboratory scientists looked into the public facts of the case
and issued a public report on its findings?"
I argue that such an independent review would provide the lab industry with
a highly useful assessment of the problems within the laboratory of a hospital that
was known to be struggling financially. At the same time, it would provide an
opportunity for the profession of laboratory medicine to provide the public with
an opinion independent of the New York DOH about the deficiencies and their
potential to negatively affect patient care and health outcomes.
Today's Lab Test Model
Won’t Survive Reforms
Doing more testing to drive down unit costs
doesn’t work when payers cut lab test prices
CEO SUMMARY: For more than three decades, independent
lab companies have waxed fat by increasing their respective
market share of lab test referrals from office-based physicians.
This era is poised to end as growing numbers of officebased
physicians begin to practice medicine within an
accountable care organization (ACO) or similar new integrated
care delivery model, while, at the same time, both government
and private payers aggressively push down reimbursement for
NYSDOH Shuts Hospital Lab
In Queens, New York
Hospital must stop admitting patients while
laboratory has 30 days to address 66 deficiencies
CEO SUMMARY: When the New York State Department of
Health closed the laboratory at 173-bed Peninsula Hospital Center in New York City on February 23, it became national
news. State inspectors issued a nine-page list of deficiencies
in the lab, including problems that could affect patient safety.
The result of the order was that all patients requiring lab work
needed to be moved out of the hospital, and the hospital could
not admit new patients through the emergency department or
by physician referral.
QMS Helps Ontario Labs
Cut Errors, Improve TAT
ISO 15189's Quality Management System (QMS)
supports continuous improvement to lab services
CEO SUMMARY: In Brampton and Etobicoke, Ontario, the
hospital laboratories of William Osler Health System are using
the quality management system of ISO 15189 to stay ahead of
two powerful trends. Combining the QMS with Lean methods
allows the labs’ management and staff to continuously
improve performance in four important dimensions: decreasing
turnaround times, reducing or eliminating the systemic
source of errors, boosting productivity of lab staff, and reducing
costs across the laboratory.
RELATED: See Lab Quality Confab
Dark Index: Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp
Report Q-4, Full Year Earnings
Modest gains in revenue, volume, and operating profit
reflect some contribution from lab acquisitions
INTELLIGENCE: Late & Latent
Jack Shaw will retire from
Joint Venture Hospital Laboratories
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