Seven Key Learnings from Leveraging the Laboratory (Virtual), 2021

October 26, 2021

On September 27-28, 2021, Mayo Clinic Laboratories held its 32nd Leveraging the Laboratory conference, virtually. Attendees gave resounding positive feedback regarding content and the virtual experience. We look forward to providing more opportunities to continue to learn, network with peers, and see our outreach community – in person – at Leveraging the Laboratory in Rochester, MN in September 21-22, 2022.

Key Messages from Leveraging the Laboratory: Post-pandemic Resilience, Transformation and Revenue:

1. Gaining a seat at the table

Laboratories grew stronger through the pandemic and have gained a permanent seat at the executive table. It’s important to not shy away, rather to speak up and remain visible to health system leadership. Use data and statistics to create a dialogue that supports the laboratory as a revenue-generating service line.

2. Millennials on the Rise

In 2025 75% of the workforce will be made up of millennials. Further, this generational shift will disrupt healthcare, as millennials will demand to access healthcare differently. This generation is technologically savvy; personalization, convenience and transparency are expected.

3. Innovation Abounds

The laboratory community was abuzz over innovation, driven by the pandemic, and sustained because it worked. From adapting a vacant retail store’s rapid oil change department into a drive-through collection facility, to renovating a semi-truck and performing mobile testing for professional athletes, to making sweeping changes to laboratory layout and processes. Telemedicine also gained a footing during the pandemic and is continuing to grow. Laboratories must adapt to support this emerging practice type and provide flexible phlebotomy services for telemedicine patients.

We also held small-group breakout sessions. Each session needed more time, “Let’s do it again!” was shared collectively. Key learnings included:

4. Sales Training

Many folks in their outreach roles have limited experience on how to sell and market laboratory services.  By adding training and education to the outreach toolbox, the hospital-based outreach team will be better prepared with this essential skill.   

5. Customer Service Call Center

Call center development varies broadly, from bourgeoning to robust. There are varying opinions on remote work, job duties and monitoring performance.  Collectively, all agreed that no calls should be answered by bench staff in the laboratory. 

6. Laboratory Courier Services

Outreach specimens that are collected remotely all need to be transported to the testing laboratory.  One thing that is not consistent is who provides the courier services. Hospital vs. third party?  All agreed that specimen tracking is important, maintaining appropriate specimen temperatures is essential and a predictable courier schedule is paramount to maintaining staffing levels to accommodate the influx of specimens to the laboratory. 

7. Kahoot! Game

Laboratory folks work hard, and they really like to “play harder”.  At the end of each day, we summarized the sessions by asking questions related to the day’s content.  Many of the attendees were not familiar with this virtual gaming platform but a great time was had by all and some even won prizes!

Mayo Clinic Laboratories Outreach Team