SPRINGFIELD — The Valley Medical Group Laboratory (VMGL) was recently honored by Medical Laboratory Observer as one of the nation’s top laboratories — a distinction normally reserved for hospital-based labs.
Each year, the publication sponsors a competition among laboratories in conjunction with National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week in April. A three-judge panel selects the winner as well as the first and second runners-up.
In awarding first runner-up status to the Valley Medical Group Laboratory, the Observer noted the dedication to customer service demonstrated by the group, which operates out of four health centers in the Pioneer Valley in addition to operating its own, full-service physicians’ office laboratory.
“Since its inception five years ago, VMGL has paid close attention to the kinds of details that caught the MLO judges’ collective eye,” the magazine noted. “From its expanded hours of operation upon request to lab receptionists in all phlebotomy locations specially trained to welcome incoming patients, to a schedule change from 15- to five-minute segments in appointments to reduce patient wait time, and — of course — its flexibility in scheduling patients in response to their immediate needs, Valley Medical Group’s Laboratory has proven that the smallest good deed does pay off.”
According to the magazine, VMGL uses a practice-management system in which all lab requisitions are entered into the system and documented in patient records. Once a month, a tickler report aids lab staff to contact all patients who have not had those requested lab tests drawn. VMGL has also put an occult-blood-tickler process in place. If a patient misses an appointment or has failed to return a fecal-occult blood-card specimen to the lab, VMGL contacts that patient.