The Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine is responsible for the laboratory tests and tissue diagnoses for all inpatients and outpatients at Hospital for Special Surgery. We not only provide general hospital laboratory services, but we are also a highly specialized center in the specific diagnosis of musculoskeletal diseases. Since our attending pathologist staff has more aggregate experience in the diagnosis of musculoskeletal disorders than pathologists have at any other institution worldwide, we also provide consultation services for orthopedic patients at institutions in other parts of the United States and around the world.
While our particular experience and expertise is unusual, our primary mission at Hospital for Special Surgery is to improve patient care by supporting the various clinical services. To do this, our department performs well over a million laboratory examinations per year. Because it is centrally located within the hospital, our department provides direct access and timely results for our physicians, clinics, and operating rooms. Since our most important function at HSS is as a service and educational resource for the clinical departments, it is not likely that as a patient you will have direct contact with any of our staff except when you have blood drawn by one of our technologists. However, you can rest assured that we help your doctor monitor your care in the best way possible.
Of equal importance in pathology and laboratory medicine is to maintain the high level of quality assurance in both anatomic pathology and in general laboratory medicine required for patient care at a facility of our caliber. Our quality assurance plans continue to help us achieve meaningful and measurable indicators affecting patient care. Quality assurance not only helps demonstrate to regulatory agencies that we constantly strive to improve our work; it helps improve patient care and satisfaction.
Because the support of other departments is our primary responsibility, it is our goal to resolve issues and concerns raised by physicians and non-physician members of other departments in a timely manner. This is done not only through efficient and rapid communication, but with a Laboratory Compliance Committee, by which we ensure that the entire process from Physician’s ordering of a laboratory test through a patient bill is compliant not only with regulatory requirements but with the satisfaction of our health care providers.
Michael J. Klein, MD