Strategies for laboratory professionals to drive laboratory stewardship

This 2021 article published in the journal Practical Laboratory Medicine examines laboratory testing in the scope of quality management and laboratory stewardship programs and the long-term benefits they bring to an organization. White et al. first discuss the evolution of quality in the laboratory and then introduce the concept of “laboratory stewardship” and its ability to improve patient care. The rest of the work focuses on implementing such a program and presenting a hypothetical case study to show how a laboratory stewardship program can have a practical impact on a healthcare system. The authors conclude that a well-implemented stewardship program “presents a valuable opportunity for laboratory professionals to engage with clinical colleagues and drive change.” They also distill their work down to five key elements required for making such programs have maximum impact: “1) a clear vision and organizational alignment; 2) appropriate skills for program execution and management; 3) resources to support the program; 4) incentives to motivate participation; and, 5) a plan of action that articulates program objectives and metrics.”

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