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Chapter 52 : Labor Relations
Today's laboratory managers have to ensure quality while exercising prudent fiscal responsibility, and this within the context of a dramatically changing workforce that must better serve patients in an era of expanding knowledge and rapid change. This chapter focuses on this value-added service that addresses effectiveness as well as cost and efficiency. It describes laboratory practices that provide value-added services, and discusses the information society as it relates to clinical laboratory services and patient safety needs. The chapter defines the term “knowledge worker”, advocates the benefits of clinical scientists who perform this role, compares the old laboratory and new laboratory paradigms, and determines the value of the new laboratory as it improves patient safety. It describes the conditions of good work, which can have a positive impact on current clinical laboratory vacancy rates, and explains the consultation process and determines the benefits in clinical laboratory practice as it relates to patient safety. The chapter helps the reader to apply systematic reviews (ask, acquire, appraise, analyze, apply, and assess) in determining evidence-based decisions, and characterizes four interactive skills that contribute to the effectiveness of consulting practice. It also describes the various competencies of successful consultants, and evaluates the benefits to the healthcare delivery system when clinical scientists act as consultants.