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Cedars-Sinai Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Named 2014 Lab of the Year

Los Angeles - March 26, 2014 - The Cedars-Sinai Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine was named the 2014 Lab of the Year by the prominent magazine Medical Laboratory Observer for its commitment to quality patient care — from new technologies to creative opportunities that better serve the local community.

"When done best, pathology comprises more than simply making a diagnosis," said Shlomo Melmed, MD, senior vice president of academic affairs, dean of the medical faculty and Helene A. and Philip E. Hixon Distinguished Chair in Investigative Medicine. "Pathology provides clinicians and researchers with more accurate tools to help unlock some of the most complex symptoms and diseases patients experience. We are proud of the exemplary standards consistently achieved by our pathology and laboratory programs."

The Lab of the Year award is based on a laboratory's ability to demonstrate contributions to quality patient care. Furthermore, the award recognizes standout leaders in customer service, teamwork, productivity, efficiency, creativity, quality control and lab inspection scores.

"This distinctive honor showcases our culture of lifelong learning and enhancing patient care and safety through continuous improvement processes and a quest for innovation," said Mahul Amin, MD, chair of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and a professor of pathology. "Our laboratory's goal is to provide our patients with excellence in both clinical and anatomic pathology by contributing to the clinical, research and education mission of Cedars-Sinai."

The Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine is committed to the highest quality patient care, teaching and research delivered by expert subspecialized pathologists and clinical scientists. The department utilizes the most advanced methods for making accurate, timely diagnoses in all areas of anatomic and clinical pathology. This includes providing personalized genomic testing that guides optimal therapeutic approaches and prognosis.

"Our department participates in the care of virtually every Cedars-Sinai patient and also provides expert consultation services to the outside community," said Amin. "With surgeons, radiologists, pathologists and many other specialists, we work together for our patients."

Additionally, laboratory leaders work to advance quality patient care through the Operational Excellence Program. This involves building a foundation for continuous quality improvement principles, including patient safety, timeliness, effectiveness, a patient-centered approach, efficiency and equity.

"One of our laboratory's most successful strategies is offering patients and providers innovative technology, such as next-generation sequencing for cancer, digital pathology for education and research and rapid diagnosis of infectious diseases," said Kathleen Clark, MHA, MSMT, CLS, director of the Department of pathology and laboratory medicine. "We are engaged in clinically applied, translational and experimental basic research in diverse areas of disease; these endeavors occur within pathology and in collaboration with other departments at Cedars-Sinai."

The Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine includes more than 45 faculty members, representing anatomic and clinical, as well as experimental and translational pathology. The clinically oriented faculty members are fully subspecialized to provide rapid, accurate, sophisticated diagnoses and consultations in all areas of pathology. The basic research oriented faculty participate in research funded by the National Institutes of Health and state-of-the-art biobanking.

The 2014 Lab of the Year award coincides with National Clinical Lab Week, celebrated every April.