An AACC-sponsored webinar on June 25, “Utilization Management in Medical Microbiology,” will highlight one Massachusetts hospital’s successful effort to reduce costs through an interdepartmental approach toward managing microbiology tests.

Advancements in microbiology testing platforms, processes and technology open up new possibilities to streamline the diagnosis and management of infectious disease. Clinicians are increasingly under pressure to adopt these newer, faster-acting techniques.

These technologies, however, must be carefully evaluated for their potential to improve care in each laboratory’s specific setting and, once adopted, must be applied judiciously, or they can be overutilized. A robust utilization management program led by microbiologists is key to improving quality and containing costs not only within the laboratory, but also in the clinical and infection control spheres.

John Branda, M.D., an assistant pathologist and associate director of the microbiology laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital, and assistant professor of pathology at Harvard Medical School, plans to outline the approaches he and his colleagues employ to manage microbiology test utilization. His webinar presentation will cover the tools the hospital uses to control microbiology test utilization management, outlining which approaches have worked and which ones have not.

He’ll describe how a reduction in downstream costs was achieved through these management approaches, and what laboratorians should consider in deciding whether to use molecular techniques or culture for common microbiology analyses.

Register online for this 60-minute webinar worth 1 ACCENT credit; AACC members save $50.