COLA, the largest private accreditor of medical laboratories including more than 8,000 nationwide, is pleased to announce its 2014 Leadership Summit, which will bring together leaders across healthcare disciplines to collaborate on the future of laboratory medicine nationwide. Held at the historic Fairmont Hotel, the summit will take place April 28-29, 2014, and is expected to generate written and illustrated materials reflective of the group’s attitudes and insights on the topic of creating a culture of quality in lab medicine.
Currently, up to 70 percent of all patient management decisions are based on laboratory data. Keeping this key statistic in mind, the summit will focus on the importance of quality, what it means to laboratory professionals, and how to promote a continuous culture of excellence within the field. Thought leaders from around the country will be in attendance to share their diverse perspectives on these issues.
In addition, issue experts from California will offer a detailed case study on the state’s extremely high standards for licensure of laboratory professionals and facilities, and its commitment to education and training. Increased demand for healthcare in the state has spurred policy changes that will have practical applications and valuable lessons learned for both local and national audiences.
Other featured topics will include:
·       Meeting the needs of the millions of newly insured individuals who have entered the health care delivery system under the Affordable Care Act, and
·       Positively impacting workforce development given the shortage of healthcare professionals in laboratory medicine.
To capture the knowledge and insights coming out of the event, a paper and infographics will be created and shared reflecting the group’s attitudes and findings. This paper will be presented at a future quality conference.

COLA plays a key role in helping California’s clinical laboratories achieve high quality standards. Last fall, COLA became the first-ever private accrediting body to receive so-called “deeming status” from Laboratory Field Services, a department of the California Department of Public Health. This enables COLA to work with California laboratories to ensure that they comply with state laboratory quality laws. Previously COLA had worked with about 450 state laboratories in order to help them comply with the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA 88), the federal laboratory quality law.

Attendance is by invitation only, but COLA encourages active participation from the general public and within professional groups through open discussion groups, which will soon be unveiled via the Internet and social media platforms. For more information please visit http://www.calabsummit.org.


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