KnowledgeLab 2017 Live Blog

A number of Mayo Clinic employees will be actively contributing to this year's Clinical Laboratory Management Association's (CLMA) KnowledgeLab 2017 conference in Nashville, Tennessee. Many of them will be sharing their thoughts and photos from the conference. Follow along with our live blog.

Tuesday, March 28

Day 3 Recap: Part 2

by Jane Hermansen

Jason Majorowicz

Hey - I know that guy! I was privileged to say this, with pride, about Jason Majorowicz. Jason is a Quality Management Coordinator within the Mayo Clinic Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology. Jason was also a member of a panel discussion on the topic of quality, sponsored by Roche Diagnostics as part of their LabLeaders series. Jason and two other quality professionals, Christina Nickel and Jennifer Dawson, took the stage in this 90-minute session that included a brief presentation from each, with an interactive panel-style question and answer session at the end. Attendees were able to submit their anonymous questions via text messaging and the moderator, Patty Eschliman, could view the questions on a screen and ask them accordingly. Over 80 questions were received via this fun and interactive platform!

All attendees received a KnowledgeLab 2017 special edition magazine, Quality insights for quality outcomes – Your guide to optimizing quality in your lab from the inside out.

Jenni shared that poor quality comes with great costs, financial and beyond. Christy shared how staff members must “map” their processes when an error occurs, and create “storm clouds” which are call-out balloons which describe the potential for error. Jason identified that 74% of laboratory errors are due to pre-analytical processes, and most of them can be avoided. Jason shared some examples of how large problems were solved with small solutions.

Critical to the success of any quality initiative are

  1. Manage the process, not the people.
  2. Eliminate barriers that prevent people from feeling pride in what they do.
  3. Create a culture where people are comfortable reporting errors.
  4. Measure your progress and successes.

I’m going to have Jason autograph his four-page article in the magazine, which is a great keepsake from this great session.

Tuesday, March 28

Day 3 Recap: Part 1

by Jane Hermansen

Magnolia Ballroom at Gaylord Opryland.

Whenever I have to present to a group, I always have a small amount of nerves and ask many questions. Will the electronic equipment work? Will everyone in the room be able to see my slides on the screen? Will they be able to hear me? And, of course, am I prepared and ready? The last concern is the only one for which I am solely responsible.

I presented a breakout session Tuesday morning, titled "Outreach is a Changing Game, Is it Time for a New Name?" Our industry is in constant flux, and some of our terminology may need updating. Integrated laboratory testing and results across the continuum of care will always be necessary. While the term "Outreach" is a great descriptor for the process, it does not begin to describe the true value of this critical community laboratory activity. At the end of the presentation, the participants were equally split on a name change. Integration and Community Health were the top choices. I encouraged the audience to consider "Outreach" as the mechanism and "Integration" or "Community Health" as the outcome.

Honor the Meaning, not the Means.

The presentation went very well, with great audience participation and discussion. The technology worked great and the room was gorgeous. The Magnolia Ballroom has a painted ceiling decor and a huge chandelier. I am now officially spoiled.

Monday, March 27

Day 2 Recap: Part 2

by Jane Hermansen

Across nearly three full days, KnowledgeLab is full of educational opportunities. With 4 general sessions, 50 breakout sessions, and 12 "bite-sized" learning activities, there is not enough time to attend every session that looks interesting. Education is aligned across the CLMA Body of Knowledge (BOK), which contains 10 domains of necessary competencies related to laboratory management. From Governance and Organizational Dynamics, to Strategic Planning and Marketing, Compliance and Risk Management, and Medical Decision Support, the BOK provides a broad view of the very special skills required to be an effective manager in the laboratory today. Each of the domains has its own symbol, shaped like a lightbulb. The goal is to create learning moments and see the lightbulb go on as we expand our knowledge in laboratory management and leadership.

Many of our Mayo Clinic colleagues have the opportunity to present breakout sessions at this conference: emeritus staff Rodney Forsman, myself, Jason Majorowicz, and Courtney Klapperich. Each presented breakout sessions in their areas of expertise, and attendees will earn continuing education credits for participating in these activities.

There's always room to learn more. The lightbulbs are lighting up; the brilliance of our learning is shining throughout the conference. I think I need my sunglasses.

Monday, March 27

Day 2 Recap: Part 1

by Jane Hermansen

I admit that I do not have the best sense of direction. The Gaylord Opryland Hotel is a gorgeous nine-acre facility, complete with miles of garden paths across many different levels and buildings. I am delighted to report that I did not get lost on Day Two! 

We opened with a motivational and funny presentation by John Nance, a retired Air Force and commercial pilot. He drew parallels between health care and aviation. There are 93,000 commercial airline flights every day on this planet. When there is an error in aviation, it makes world news. How many daily health care transactions occur, and how many errors are there? And how often does it make world news? We know that errors happen; some are tragic or significant. Thankfully, most are not. We know that human beings make mistakes and that errors will occur. Although we know that health care will never be error-free, it is up to us to ensure that health care is harm-free.

As leaders, we must first inspire others to trust and then inspire them to lead.  

Mr. Nance has written 15 books, fiction and nonfiction. I plan to take a trip to the library when I return home.

Monday, March 27

Great Start to KnowledgeLab

by Deb Wells

More than 50 educational sessions are planned for this busy conference. Today, laboratorians from Nebraska presented on Motivating Millennials. It was great information and very entertaining. There were so many wonderful sessions from which to choose, it was difficult to decide which one to attend. I'm looking forward to hearing about the latest CAP requirements and watching a Lab Leaders panel discussion about Quality Driven Labs tomorrow.

CLMA Minnesota Chapter President Sherri Huber presents "1-2-3 Identify Me" to a packed audience.
The Exhibit Hall has been very busy and full of great information. The opening reception Sunday night was a big hit, and the food has been wonderful.

Sunday, March 26

Day 1 Recap

by Jane Hermansen

Hello from Nashville, where more than 1,000 laboratory leaders and 100 exhibitors have gathered for the Clinical Laboratory Management Association Conference (CLMA), KnowledgeLab. We opened Sunday night with a welcome from CLMA President Patty Eschliman, who compared the laboratory industry to the logging industry because all we do is cut, cut, and cut. And, in spite of these challenges, we still must provide quality laboratory services.

We must continually find new ways to work, within and outside our departments, and be willing to change. 

With that change comes the need to manage stress and establish mechanisms to become resilient—bouncing back when change becomes stressful. Dr. Amit Sood of Mayo Clinic provided an inspiring and emotional keynote address, encouraging us to embrace a theme for each day of the week. Monday is a day to focus on gratitude, Tuesday is compassion, Wednesday is acceptance, Thursday is a day to find meaning, and forgive on Friday.

By embracing each of these actions, we are able to lower our stress and increase our ability to deal with change.

In my 30+ years in health care, I have experienced significant and continual change. Endurance and resilience will ensure that I continue to work effectively and provide the highest quality patient care possible. 

Sunday, March 26

Council of Chapter Leaders' Summit

by Deb Wells

Sunday evening, the CLMA KnowledgeLab launched its impressive educational program. Mayo Clinic Quality Management Coordinator Jason Majorowicz chaired the KnowledgeLab Program Committee and introduced the first keynote speaker, Mayo Clinic physician and professor Amit Sood, M.D. Dr. Sood captivated the large crowd, moving them from tears to laughter and capturing both thoughts and hearts. Mayo Clinic was first in the lineup of sponsors with a gold-level sponsor for the first time in years. It is a major statement and parallels the high quality of the event.

Mayo Clinic Quality Management Coordinator Jason Majorowicz introduces keynote speaker Amit Sood, M.D.

Saturday, March 25

Council of Chapter Leaders' Summit

by Deb Wells

CLMA President Patty Eschilman addressed the Council of Chapter Leaders (CCL) at the CCL Summit on Saturday. The news of CLMA membership growth and financial stability was well-received.
Following the CCL Summit, a wonderful reception was held, and chapter awards were presented. It was an awesome event.

Saturday, March 25

Getting Ready for KnowledgeLab 2017

by Deb Wells, Quality Management Coordinator, Department of Laboratory and Medical Pathology, Quality Management Services at Mayo Clinic

It it is 8:00 in the morning in Nashville, Tennessee. I took the day off before the CLMA KnowledgeLab 2017 Conference for a period of pause and reflection before immersing in the incredible schedule for the conference this year.

The Gaylord Opryland Resort is the perfect setting for this conference. It is an enormous locale built around a nine-acre conservatory. The weather is always perfect! A waterfall sends its undulating matrix into a stream below, filled with gorgeous koi. The tropical flora reach almost to the sky, and on their trunks, orchids are planted—which are in full bloom. Tiny white lights sway to the peaceful music of a harp. Surely this must be nirvana!

So now, with energy restored, the conference is about to begin. The CLMA Lab Leadership Curriculum starts Sunday with three entirely different tracks:

  1. Laboratory Utilization Management
  2. Head and Heart Leadership
  3. Preparation for DLM(ASCP) certification

The program launches with the keynote address by Mayo Clinic's Amit Sood, M.D., "Building Resilience" followed by an opening reception for all in the expansive Exhibit Hall.

Wishing you all a wonderful time: Let CLMA KnowledgeLab 2017 begin!

Friday, March 24

Audio Insights: KnowledgeLab 2017 Preview with Jane Hermansen

by Jane Hermansen

Prior to the conference, we sat down with Jane Hermansen, Network and Outreach Development Manager at Mayo Medical Laboratories in Rochester, Minnesota, and President-elect of CLMA, to discuss KnowledgeLab 2017. Jane talks about her role, KnowledgeLab 2017 highlights and upcoming presentations, and her own presentation on outreach in the future of health care.


Kelley Luedke (@kschrib)

Kelley Luedke

Kelley Luedke is a Marketing Channel Manager at Mayo Clinic Laboratories. She is the principle editor and writer of Insights and leads social media and direct marketing strategy. Kelley has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2013. Outside of work, you can find Kelley running, traveling, playing with her kitty, and exploring new foods.