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Chapter 23 : Effective Communication in Laboratory Management

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Abstract:

This chapter describes the importance of effective communication to laboratory management. Communication and information flow or transfer throughout the healthcare setting are very complicated. It is the responsibility of laboratory management to ensure that the information flow is bidirectional. The laboratory should not simply send out information, memos, policies, and procedures but should have a mechanism for receiving information from its clients. Management should have a communication strategy—a plan that is used whenever the laboratory has information that it wants to disseminate. The plan should include the elements of the strategy, i.e., recipients of the information, the communication options that the laboratory will use, and the purpose of the communication. Laboratories should communicate with all of their customers: physicians, nursing and allied health professionals, patients, third-party payors, and paying customers. The chapter also discusses the means and methods of communication. The means of communication are fairly simple: the spoken word, the written word, and visual images. The mechanics include written memoranda, emails, reports, notices, newsletters, flyers, telephone service, manuals, and formal presentations, among others. Laboratory managers must encourage a routine exchange of thoughts and messages between the laboratory departments, management and staff, and different shifts. Written interdepartmental communication tends to be more formal than intradepartmental and needs to be carefully structured. Entities external to the organization include insurance companies, the federal government, accrediting agencies, competitors, and others. There are myriad regulations that affect a laboratory’s operation, such as a license to operate and personnel policies.

Citation: Passiment E, Linscott A. 2014. Effective Communication in Laboratory Management, p 451-457. In Garcia L (ed), Clinical Laboratory Management, Second Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817282.ch23

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References

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1.American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th ed. 2000. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, MA.
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7.Institute of Medicine. 2000. To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Healthcare System. National Academy Press, Washington, DC. http://www.iom.edu/, accessed September 28, 2012.
8.Institute of Medicine. 2001. Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century. National Academy Press, Washington, DC. http://www.nap.edu/books/0309072808/html/, accessed September 28, 2012.
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Tables

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Table 23.1

Elements of a communication plan

Citation: Passiment E, Linscott A. 2014. Effective Communication in Laboratory Management, p 451-457. In Garcia L (ed), Clinical Laboratory Management, Second Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817282.ch23
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Table 23.2

Methods of communication

Citation: Passiment E, Linscott A. 2014. Effective Communication in Laboratory Management, p 451-457. In Garcia L (ed), Clinical Laboratory Management, Second Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817282.ch23
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Table 23.3

Elements of a formal proposal to change laboratory services

Citation: Passiment E, Linscott A. 2014. Effective Communication in Laboratory Management, p 451-457. In Garcia L (ed), Clinical Laboratory Management, Second Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817282.ch23

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