Lucia R. Wolgast
After several years working as a data analyst and clinical researcher at a pharmaceutical company, I changed my career path, attended medical school, and became a doctor. I became an AP/CP and a Hematopathology boarded pathologist. My area of expertise is in Hematology and Coagulation, and I have written several papers and book chapters on antiphospholipid syndrome, an autoimmune thrombotic condition. I have also been involved in resident and medical student teaching during rotations in the laboratory as well as lectures in coagulation and blood morphology.
Over the past 12 years as a laboratory director, I have focused on creating effective teams for numerous laboratory inspections, quality assurance projects, and standardization committees. I have used my past experiences running clinical trials and performing data analysis to find solutions to laboratory workflow challenges. Whether it’s creating and pulling reports to perform a workflow analysis, designing new specimen sorting solutions, creating order sets that focus on minimizing the number of collection tubes, or reviewing how results are formatted and viewed in the clinical information systems – these improvements have hugely impacted patient care. My focus on improving preanalytical and postanalytical processes allowed me to implement our laboratory’s new automation system.
In my new role as Vice-Chair of Clinical Pathology, my focus has moved from the day-to-day operation of the laboratory to department and hospital wide initiatives; for example, exploring ways to expand our testing capabilities and reducing reference laboratory testing costs. With the increased volume and complexity of reference laboratory test requests, my current focus is to create utilization committees consisting of pathologists and clinicians to review reference laboratory tests to select high quality testing for our patients. Further, with utilization reviews, I can identify testing that would be more cost effective and beneficial for patient care if performed by the inhouse hospital laboratory. I am continually demonstrating the value of investing in the hospital laboratory.