By - January 04, 2024
A new year is a time of joy and a time of unbelievable possibility. While we reflect on the year that ended, we can plan for the year ahead. It is a chance to review and refine how we work, educate, innovate, and inspire. It is an opportunity to advocate and engage, but most importantly, it is an opportunity to lead.
This issue of Critical Values showcases our 2023 Annual Report, providing an overview of ASCP’s significant achievements over the past 12 months. We surpassed our initial expectations, driven by our commitment to you—our valued members. Your support is the catalyst that enables us to propel the visibility of pathology and laboratory medicine on a continuous upward trajectory. Because of our members, we are able to provide education and patient-centric care to those in resource-limited nations and foster knowledge across generations to enhance our profession. ASCP’s triumphs are shared by all of us, and as you review the accomplishments outlined within these pages, reflecting the core values and mission of our organization, remember that our strength lies in unity.
In this issue, we also look at the many ways the laboratory can be a leader in healthcare. In the article, “Undergrads Dive into Real Research with MLS Program,” Grace Leu-Burke, MT(ASCP), shares how she started a research program for undergraduates at her institution, and discusses the importance of programs like hers for the future of the laboratory education. “There are not a lot of MLS programs out there that are doing abstracts and research,” Ms. Leu-Burke explains. “We are a science-driven field. We generate the data, and we should be presenting the data. Presenting elevates who we are as a profession.”
In the article, “ASCP Toolbox Helps Laboratory Leaders Advocate for Their Teams,” Communications Writer Susan Montgomery looks at the Negotiation and Advocacy Toolbox developed by ASCP with a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Toolbox equips clinical laboratory directors and managers with practical tools and education to help them demonstrate the value of their laboratories and advocate for their needs to decision-makers within their health system administration. The importance of resources like the Negotiation and Advocacy Toolbox can’t be underscored—they are critical in helping pathologists and medical laboratory scientists elevate the laboratory and ground it as the foundation of healthcare.
Dr. Andrew Fletcher shares his article, “The Role of Laboratory Tests in Transitions of Care and Readmissions,” in this issue of Critical Values. Dr. Fletcher discusses the significant impact that laboratory testing has on transitions of care and readmissions and provides solutions as to how the laboratory can be a leader in transitions of care and reducing readmissions. “When attempting to address transitions of care and readmissions, many hospitals may not consider the important role the laboratory plays,” he writes. “By assisting in identifying TPADs and formulating strategies to improve TPAD awareness and inclusion on discharge summaries, laboratories can impact transitions of care benefiting patient quality care and assisting in reduction of readmissions."
We are eager to leverage our knowledge and expertise to redefine patient-centric care as we anticipate the new opportunities that await us in the coming year. We are faced with endless possibilities to raise the voice and visibility of the laboratory, and we are excited about the prospect of bringing them to fruition alongside you. We eagerly await the chance to make a tangible impact while we simultaneously envision a healthcare landscape shaped by our collective efforts. We continually innovate and refine our approaches and commit to doing so with enthusiasm. When we transform aspirations into reality, we are not only contributing to a healthcare future that prioritizes and elevates patient care, but we are also STRONGERTOGETHER.
Thank you for your continued support of ASCP. Please send me your comments and suggestions at Blair.Holladay@ascp.org. My very best to each of you.