Laboratory Effectiveness: Clinical Laboratory Utilization

Number of Credits

2 P.A.C.E.®





This course provides P.A.C.E.® credit only and is not for individuals that are eligible for CME credit (physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses). For CME credit, register for the course under the Laboratory Director CME Program category where the course is offered for CME credit.

Course Details:

Laboratory Utilization Management (UM) is also referred to as resource utilization or lab stewardship. UM is the discipline whereby clinicians, laboratory professionals, and administrators work together to ensure that laboratory tests and results provide real clinical benefit to patients while ensuring that laboratory testing is both cost-effective and appropriately used. In short, UM is about doing the right test, at the right time, for the right patient, and at the right cost.

Health care costs have been rising sharply over the past 2-3 decades in the United States. In order to control spending, health care professionals must strive to be more efficient and effective. The goal of UM is to maintain or improve the quality of care without increasing the cost of laboratory testing. As will be discussed, some laboratory tests are ordered too frequently or laboratory tests that are considered obsolete continue to be ordered. There are also more esoteric (and expensive) laboratory tests than at any other time in history. As the field of laboratory medicine grows we must proactively work to make sure that laboratory testing is contributing to positive health outcomes rather than just driving up budgets.

Intended Audience: The target audience for this course is laboratory professionals (Medical Laboratory Scientists, Medical Technologists and Technicians, who act in an administrative capacity or would like to increase their knowledge regarding laboratory administrative issues. The course is also appropriate for Clinical Laboratory Science students.  

Learning Objectives

  • Define laboratory utilization or lab stewardship and its overall goals.
  • Discuss the scope of practice for the laboratory professional in a utilization management role.
  • List issues and potential solutions concerning major problem areas including: Outside (referred) lab testing, obsolete tests or tests of limited value, over-bundled tests, stat tests, the electronic medical record (EMR) as a tool, a lab formulary, frequency of testing, tests that should be restricted, and genetic testing.
  • Describe the structure of a laboratory utilization team.
  • Discuss ways in which the laboratory can help clinicians avoid underuse, overuse, and misuse of clinical laboratory services.

This course has been approved for P.A.C.E.® credit. There are no prerequisites for this course.

  • Laboratory Utilization Management
  • Laboratory Utilization Management Team
  • Laboratory Utilization Issues and Potential Solutions
  • Genetic Testing
  • Summary
  • References
  • Graded Exam

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