Lab Week 2009

As Medical Director of Quality Assurance for our laboratory, I had been contemplating what Quality Assurance Goals for 2009 to adopt for our Laboratory. I clearly wanted to address a focus on patient safety and re-emphasize for our associates how important a role they each have in patient care on a day to day basis. Not long after I had started putting these goals to paper, and was trying to figure out how to best accomplish these goals, an email from CAP pops into my email inbox and it was PERFECT! The CAP was announcing their "Every number is a life.TM"(external link) campaign.

I spoke with our Director of Technical Operations and asked if we could order some wrist bracelets to hand out to everyone during our Lab Week celebrations. Fortunately, I work for a company who is committed to quality in the Laboratory, and we were able to get this approved. Our week-long celebration organized by our Director of Non-Technical? Operations and our culture committee consisted of a variety of feasts and festivities (which we will all be working off over the next 3 weeks!), including ice-cream treats from the lab, breakfast treats and cookies provided by our Sales team, an outdoor Hot-dog and veggie dog cookout hosted by some Lab folks who love to cook, a catered outdoor Hamburger-chicken feast cookout, and a door-prize for guessing the number of chocolate nuggets in a fish bowl. The bracelets were handed out to everyone on Friday following the door-prize announcement, with a brief message from myself to the associates on the importance of what they do everyday, no matter if they are answering the phone or actually grossing in tissue or screening the Pap smear, each person handling a "number" in the lab is dealing with someone's life, and that the bracelets are a great way to keep focused on that. Needless to say, they went like hot-cakes! So, my hats off to those folks that I work with everyday, who make coming into the lab so special, and to the CAP for coming up with a GREAT idea to emphasize patient safety.