Audio Insights: KnowledgeLab 2017 Preview with Jane Hermansen

We recently sat down with Jane Hermansen, Network and Outreach Development Manager at Medical Laboratories in Rochester, Minnesota, to discuss Clinical Laboratory Management Association's (CLMA's) upcoming KnowledgeLab 2017, held March 26–29 in Nashville, Tennessee. Jane is also the President-elect of CLMA and will take the reigns of the organization for the next two years. In this episode, Jane talks about her role, KnowledgeLab 2017 highlights and upcoming presentations, and her own presentation on outreach in the future of health care.



Andy Tofilon: At the end of March, the clinical laboratory management world will come together in Nashville for Knowledge Lab 2017. We were lucky enough to score a quick interview with Jane Hermansen, our Manager of Network and Outreach Development at Mayo Medical Laboratories. Even better, Jane is the President-elect of CLMA and will take the reins of the organization in two weeks. First off, congratulations, Jane, on your new role. What do you hope to accomplish in the next two years?

Jane Hermansen: Thank you, Andy. I am actually so honored to be part of CLMA. CLMA has been part of my professional life since 1999 when I joined, and I actually had my first CLMA experience when I attended the KnowledgeLab Conference in Dallas, and it was really life-changing. It helped me understand what was possible for laboratorians to achieve in their careers. So, really, what I hope that we can do with CLMA over the next two years, and really into the future, is to help every laboratorian in the country who aspires for some type of leadership role to really maximize his/her effectiveness. CLMA has a lot of tools related to professional development. We have a mentorship program. We have a lot of education. We have something called “The Body of Knowledge,” and what I want to do is really help, through the professional development area, bring the right resources to help our members access those. Also, we have a lot of resources related to advocacy, helping people understand all the ABCs and the XYZs of all of the regulatory stuff, and really help them navigate that and put it into words that people can easily understand. And then finally, the other area where people really like to stay involved with CLMA is because it is fun, so to make sure that we have a lot of fun activities, not only at our conferences but even at the local level, and make sure that that is where CLMA becomes real for our members there.

AT: So, speaking of fun, Nashville is definitely in the "fun" category.

JH: Absolutely.

AT: It is a great location for this year’s conference. So, when we look at the agenda, the general sessions really do look amazing. What are some of the high points that attendees can look forward to?

JH: Well, first of all, this is the first time we have actually had this conference in Nashville. We were told it is the place to be, and our registration is actually ahead of schedule and response has been really good, so I think that we are going to have a great showing in Nashville.

AT: Great to hear.

JH: The high points from the general session perspective, we have a keynote speaker. We are starting on a Sunday night this year.

AT: Okay.

JH: We found a lot of people wanted to start right away, so they hit the ground running, and we are having our own Dr. Amit Sood, who is a clinician here at the Mayo Clinic. Dr. Sood’s specialty is actually on the topic of resiliency; and I think in these days of health care change, we have so much change that is forced on us, and it actually requires an awful lot of effort and a lot of resiliency to keep coming back tomorrow and knowing that what we are doing actually makes a difference. So, his topic of resiliency is timely. He is funny, and he is actually very motivational, so we are very, very excited to have him. We also have another Mayo Clinic person who is going to be on the big stage. Jason Majorowicz from our Quality unit is participating in a roundtable on laboratory quality and how we as leaders have a responsibility to ensure the quality of not only our product but really the outcomes in patient care. So, we are excited to see Jason on the stage as well. So, lots of Mayo people are involved, and we have a great laboratory here, and it is great to have our excellent staff involved as well. Some of the other speakers, actually two speakers who have a military angle. One of them is a gentleman named John Nance. John Nance is a pilot, and he is actually going to talk about accountability and responsibility and tying how a pilot behaves with safety and security checklists to how we behave in medicine. So, Mr. Nance is going to speak on that topic. And then, we also have someone else who is from the military, and she is actually from the Defense Health Agency, which is the equivalent of our civilian version of the Health and Human Services—HHS Department. So, DHA is a big deal in the military, and this lady’s name is Vice Admiral Raquel C. Bono, and she is the Director of the DHA. So, we are going to have her talk about what is happening in their world and how they are actually trying to reduce variation in the military because each military branch has kind of its own way of operating, but, how do they as the Department of Defense really deploy consistency and boil that down to the laboratory level, so that is going to be very exciting too.

AT: So, it sounds like a packed agenda with really great speakers, so that sounds incredibly exciting. There is no way that we could be going into KnowledgeLab without you presenting something about outreach. We know your presentation really tries to address how outreach fits into the future of health care. Can you give us a quick preview?

JH: Sure, absolutely. Well, outreach is such an area of passion for me, and it is such an area of relevance for all of our hospitals in this country, and it is something that comes under frequent scrutiny. And more and more of what I am seeing is that when I talk to people about outreach, they say, "No, no, no, we do not do outreach here. We do 'in-reach.' We call it outpatient." And my response to them is, "Well, if you are doing in-reach that is for your owned providers, are you doing 100% of the work for your own providers?" Well, no we have maybe about a third of the work. Well, then you need to be doing more of that (laughs), and honestly, I do not care what you call it as long as you do it. So, what I am going to talk about is not so much outreach as the program but outreach as a process, and let’s focus more on the outcome. What is the end result? It is patient care. It is community-based medicine. It is integration of results. So, let’s focus on the outcome rather than the process. So, just when you take a box and you need to blow your nose, you pull something out. What do you call it? You call it a Kleenex. It may or may not be Kleenex brand. So, outreach might still be a generic term, but let’s really focus on what the outcomes are instead. And something else that we are going to do is really create a return-on-investment-kind of a calculator and share that with the participants in the session so that they can actually communicate outreach value at the financial level as well as the philosophical level.

AT: Thank you so much for your time, Jane. Have a wonderful time in the “music city.”

JH: Absolutely, thank you, Andy.

Jane Hermansen (@jhermansen)

Jane Hermansen

Jane Hermansen is living her childhood dream of being a laboratory professional. With a passion for community-based medicine, she has worked with hundreds of hospitals across the US in outreach program development and growth. She currently directs the outreach consulting activities for Mayo Clinic Laboratories.