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Press Start: Lead an Empowered Life as a Clinical Laboratorian

No Lab, No Hospital. Simple!

Published February 24, 2012 6:20 PM by Glen McDaniel

 

Just a few minutes ago, a friend sent me a link to a news story about a hospital in New York that was forced to close because  of  what he described  as "problems with their lab."  An inspection of the laboratory by New York State Department of Health yesterday found enough significant deficiencies to direct the laboratory to cease testing immediately. They were also advised that without clinical laboratory services patient care would be in jeopardy.

In a  news release, also on the website of the hospital, officials indicated, that no new patient are being admitted,  inpatients are being transferred out, surgical procedures have been canceled, and the emergency room has been placed on diversion.

This just reinforces in a very vivid way, the critical role the laboratory plays in patient care.  One quote said, "Without the laboratory, patients could be at risk." What an understatement.

7 comments

It is undisputed that the lab is essential. Most times when a hospital gets through an inspection it is because the lab is so anal about everything. When a hospital fails an inspection it usually points to other deepartments. This is not because the lab is not importan it is just that we are so used to detail and paying attention to documentation that we do well while others slip through the cracks. You think administration in this hospital now realizes that the  lab is important?

Jessica B. , MTll March 17, 2012 2:55 PM
Roanoke VA

This is unforgivable. To Lahkwinder: all I can say is that I have been a tech for over 20 years. I have worked in the blood bank. You will see a unit or 2 of blood on the day of expiration (so tehy expire at midnight and you see it like at 9pm) but I have never ever seen units of expired blood laying around in the blood bank. LIS systems keep track of teh expiration dates of all units.

Even if you have a manual system you should go through every day and make sure crossmatched and uncrossmatched blood has not expired. Also this lab had several expired reagents in other departments.

What I have seen is expired tubes or blood culture bottles that got shoved in a drawer somewhere. I have seen a day or two of missed temperature. These deficiencies you just take and shake your head. But I have never seen several units of expired blood and blood products stored at the wrong temperature. How does that happen??? If that hospital had other issues as you suggest then it deserved to be closed permanently.

Jason Winkler March 5, 2012 11:55 PM
Boston MA

It reinforces what is happening to health care with declining reimbursement and over regulation. Many hospitals are projected to start losing money in the near future so look for even more recklessness.

In this case it sounds like it was about finding some expired blood bank reagents and fresh frozen plasma. Typically in this common scenario, an inspector would point out the forgotten expired reagents. The lab would throw them out, and the inspector would cite a deficiency and say it was corrected on site. Must be more to this story.

LAHKWINDER SINGH, Lab - Yes, none March 1, 2012 3:16 PM
Wilmington OH

The Health Department did the right thing. Can you imagine the damage that could have been caused to patients  by these deficiencies. Were the techs certified or is it a case of using noncertified untrained staff or staff trained on the job?

Janice Allison, MT February 26, 2012 9:42 PM
Atlanta GA

@ Joseph: Local news sources  have reported that findings included expired blood products, platelets stored at incorrect temperature and expired reagents in various laboratory departments.

This link is from Crain's New York Business

http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20120224/HEALTH_CARE/120229943/1175

These are pretty egregious as far as the practice of medical laboratory science is concerned.

Glen McDaniel February 25, 2012 6:58 PM

Wow. do you know what the findings were?  Must have been pretty bad.

Joseph Martino February 24, 2012 9:49 PM
Brooklyn NY

Of course a hospital cant survive without the lab no matter what administrators or nurses think. I only wish we got the dignity and respect we deserve.

Janice B. February 24, 2012 9:22 PM
Lexington KY

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