Across the nation, laboratories are judged by ADVANCE on how they institute innovative concepts; demonstrate successful teamwork; accept challenges; display evidence of willingness to improve; celebrate and support employees; receive commendations from clients; and support the community. In March, the PVH laboratory department was notified that they had been selected for this prestigious honor as the first runner up for “Laboratory of the Year.”
In receiving this award, the laboratory will also be presented with a cash prize from ADVANCE and a featured story in a medical magazine.
The lab will celebrate their accomplishments during National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week from April 21-27. This year’s theme is “Laboratory Professionals Get Results.” The hospital will fittingly honor and recognize the 16 lab staff at PVH and over 300,000 laboratory professionals across the country dedicated to providing quality test results.
Hospital laboratories provide results using state-of-the-art equipment and rapid turnaround methods that are crucial to helping acute care patients. “Patients may not be aware of all the testing we perform in-house,” says PVH Laboratory Director Scott Warner. “Our techs at PVH have many years of experience which translates into the highest quality results. The lab staff have seen quite a few unusual cases over the years.”
This wealth of experience in the profession leads to dedication and continuously improved care for the patients. In 2012, the PVH laboratory department held their 200th weekly “Strive for Five” meeting for staff to collaborate and improve patient care and processes. “Strive for Five” meetings are like mini huddles where staff have the opportunity to speak up and make suggestions that are in the best interests of the patients.
Staff use the “Strive for Five” meetings to accomplish projects that improve patient satisfaction and promote communication between the laboratory and other departments. Some of their recent accomplishments include:
- Rounding with nurses and physicians each day to help answer questions that may arise about the inpatients or other organizational tasks
- Visits to the nursing stations to consult with nurses on patients
- Stops at the Emergency Department to confirm processes are flowing in an efficient manner
- Instituting status updates on inpatients with pending cultures for physicians
- Creating pink “Lab Tags” given to patients upon registration for outpatient lab work. The tags are designed to limit outpatient wait times by:
- helping the lab staff identify those patients in the waiting room that have yet to be seen.
- encouraging the patients to remind registration if they’ve been waiting more than 15 minutes.
- Expanded hours to better accommodate fasting patients or those with busy schedules. The PVH lab department is available
- Monday – Friday from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm
- Saturday – Sunday from 8:00 am to 12:00 noon
- To ensure PVH has your physician’s lab order, feel free to contact the department ahead of time at (207) 794-7270.
At PVH, the lab staff plan weekly trips for patient draws at local healthcare facilities like nursing homes, but often times make daily visits to accommodate the patients’ needs. These facilities are very grateful for this program as it helps alleviate transportation issues they had faced in the past. Lab staff also provide community outreach by training local students attending school for their laboratory technologist, medical assistant, or phlebotomy degrees.
Additionally, PVH lab staff go above and beyond, even when it’s not expected. Staff have cleaned the snow off co-workers vehicles following a snowstorm, they have stepped in to help other departments when there is an influx of patients, and they always portray positive attitudes and offer smiles to others throughout the facility.
“PVH is blessed with superb lab workers who are able to produce quality results for our patients in a caring and compassionate way,” states PVH Chief of Emergency Medicine Dr. David Dumont. “The lab staff develop innovative ideas to enhance the quality of the tests and reporting of results. New physicians are always impressed at the rapid turnaround times and variety of tests that PVH is able to perform.”