Clinical Laboratory Operations Management

Industry Challenges

Clinical laboratories face the challenge of performing increasingly higher volumes of complex testing. Increased demand sits within an environment that has seen a dramatic shortage of trained laboratory personnel, unprecedented mergers and acquisitions, pressure to provide high quality test results with improved service (turnaround time), and internal and external standards to operate accurately day in and day out. 

Our Approach

Clinical Operations Management is an on-going challenge for every clinical laboratory, however, Accumen’s team of highly experienced subject matter experts (SMEs) are ready to create and recommend solutions to begin improving operations in your laboratory.  

Our methods, processes, and tools are designed to retain staff in a tight labor market, reduce costs, increase revenue, improve processes, and increase patient safety and satisfaction. Some recommendations are department-specific, while many apply broadly to lab management as a whole.



Laboratory technical and leadership expertise, blended with lean Six Sigma and project management​, to bring the top proven best practices


Improve on both the clinical and business aspects of running a successful laboratory


Accumen Analytics technology solution to quantify opportunities and monitor performance


Partnership model with collaboration from concept to sustained gains​

Custom Solutions

Customizable strategies tailored to meet your health system’s and hospital’s needs​


Improved workflows, increased productivity, reduced cost, increased patient safety, enhanced quality and service, and increased patient and provider satisfaction​


The Accumen Team works alongside your organization to understand your goals

and to drive results together, specializing in the following areas of Clinical Lab Operations Management:

The first step to improve lab operations is workflow mapping. By mapping the various workflows that occur in the lab, and comparing the level of effort needed to improve, with the financial impact of improvement, the Accumen team partners with lab leaders to prioritize resourcesResources may include financial funding, space, equipment, and expertise. We then work with the team of staff members who are directly impacted by that workflow to design more efficient alternatives. 

In every laboratory, there are also additional, distinct workflows within each of the high-level areas listed above. To truly improve lab quality, safety, and patient care, while also remaining cognizant of financial stewardship and efficiency, lab leaders must have a good understanding of how each workflow intersects the other.

More on Lab Workflow Optimization →

Like many industries, healthcare is suffering from a talent shortage. That means efficient health systems have a huge advantage over their inefficient competitors.

One way to maximize the capacity of staff is to allow lab assistants to work to their full capability. With appropriate training and competency assessment, lab assistants are capable of handling many lab processes with minimal supervision. With the right control processes in place, lab assistants are able to work to their full capacity. 

More on Lab Labor Optimization →

To improve laboratory services, clinical lab benchmarking is an absolute must. Benchmarking can help manage laboratory operational and financial performance. Accumen benchmarking measures metrics such as staff productivity, supply cost per test, total cost per test, and more. Once you have data, you can target improvement.

When it comes to outpatient and outreach testing services, benchmarking can also have a tangible business impact. A lab that can quantify its performance in comparison to others can make a more compelling sales proposition to a potential client than a lab with little insight into its operations. A lab with a significant outreach program can also use financial benchmarks to better report its financial performance to administration.

More on Clinical Lab Benchmarking →

The goal of increasing efficiency has led many health system leaders to explore new forms of organization.  Lab consolidation is one initiative that seems to be effective. High regulatory burdens as well as scarce labor resources encourage consolidation, because organizations with economies of scale have a better chance at remaining profitable under an intense burden of work. In fact, industry experts expect that the number of mergers and acquisitions will only increase in the coming years. Unsurprisingly, these broad changes in the healthcare space have profound impact on lab operations.

More on Clinical Lab Consolidation →

Accumen’s Relative Value Unit (RVU) system enables laboratories to communicate key business insights affecting financial performance for your laboratory by calculating your Lab’s Test Complexity Index (TCI). Lab costs are directly related to the TCI, in the same way acute care inpatient services are reflected in the hospital’s Case Mix Index (CMI) and Diagnosis-Related Group (DRG).

The Accumen RVU System has multiple use cases and applications:

• Departmental Benchmarking with similar peers (peers of similar volume and TCI)
• Financial Accounting and Budget Development
• Multiple Cost Accounting Applications
• Lab Pricing Chargemaster and Transfer Fee Schedules

More on Relative Value Unit System →

Accumen’s Team of Lab Executives specializes in all area’s of the clinical laboratory, and knows the importance of understanding the current operations of all lab departments.

From Anatomic Pathology to Core Lab to Flow Cytology, and many more our team has an Assessment process for your clinical lab.

More on Lab Departmental Assessments→

Accreditation-readiness is important for laboratories to comply with state and federal regulations and plays an integral role in maintaining quality assurance and ensuring patient safety. In addition, accreditation is a recognized mark of professional credibility, and payers may require lab services to be accredited.

As part of a comprehensive regulatory assessment by section, Accumen conducts a gap analysis outlining deviations from accreditation and regulatory standards (CLIA, TJC, CAP, AABB, COLA, state, and others). Based on each site’s individual findings, Accumen partners with internal stakeholders to develop a roadmap that ensures the laboratory is fully compliant-ready for any inspection.

More on Regulatory and Accreditation Readiness→

quality management system or QMS, helps healthcare organizations establish processes, procedures, and improvements for achieving desired quality policies and objectives. It directs activities to meet patient and regulatory requirements in addition to improving the organization’s effectiveness and efficiency on a continuous basis. Benefits of an effective QMS include: preventing mistakes, reducing waste, lowering costs, identifying training opportunities, consistent results, and controlled and improved processes.

More on Lab Quality Management System→

Accumen has developed a simple survey that you can use, not only to meet the CAP accreditation requirement to survey your lab customers regarding their satisfaction, but also to gain actionable insights to improve your lab. 

Using a core set of survey questions, this third-party scalable survey can be used for one or multiple labs’ customers. Use the results for clinical lab benchmarking both internally between your sites and externally with like peers. Additional questions are also customizable to meet your unique needs.

Accumen has a deep bench of lab program directors and certified project managers. The team leverages a library of structured approaches – including the globally recognized Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) and the Lean Six Sigma Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control (DMAIC) methodology – applying the appropriate approach and toolset for the need at hand. The repeated utilization of each structured approach highlights common risk considerations within the Lab as well as sharing of best practices. Accumen partners with clients through each phase of the project or program life cycle – from design to initiation to closing. With expertise in various knowledge areas, initiatives can be completed within scope, on time, on budget, and with high quality execution – expediting results. Key areas of focus also include communication plans, risk mitigation, and stakeholder management.

By effectively managing projects and programs, laboratories can optimize clinical lab operations, improve clinical lab efficiency, and increase clinical lab quality. While also enhancing clinical lab profitability through cost control and clinical lab resource optimization or capitalize on opportunities for innovation and market expansion.

Read Program Management Overview→

Using Change Management tools and techniques, the Accumen team enables commitment for change and ensures smooth laboratory transitions while driving clinical lab improvements.

The Accumen Team guarantees your Leadership is engaged and in agreement on all lab objectives and anticipated outcomes.  While also promising to provide training and education to all stakeholders in your organization, and work alongside your team the entire journey.  Most importantly Accumen provides data tracking for monitoring and sustaining all clinical lab improvements.

Staffing shortages in healthcare are a real issue and your lab is no exception. Many hospital labs are struggling to fill lab leader positions, and we understand how difficult it can be to find the right candidate.

If you are seeking an interim lab leader, Accumen can be your trusted source to strong lab leaders.  All leaders are personally interviewed and approved by our Executives, ensuring they are the right cultural fit, adhere to the highest ethical standards, and their skillsets match the position at hand.

Contact Us to Start the Interim Leader Process →

Key Team Members

Joe McGann

Vice President/General Manager
Laboratory Operations

Mike Kachure

Vice President,
Strategic Partnerships

Katie Castree Benyo, MHA, CPHQ, ASQ CSSBB

Client Engagement Executive

Kelly Lucas, MLS(ASCP), MHA

Client Engagement Executive

Paul Villacreces, MLS, MHA, CSSBB

Senior Director, Lab Excellence

Susan Dougherty, MLS, MBA

Client Engagement Executive

Jennifer White, MLS

Director, Lab Excellence

Carrie Livesay, MLS(ASCP)CM, LSSMBB

Director, Lab Excellence

Jeffrey Moore, MHA, MLS(AMT), BB(ASCP), CPHQ

Director, Lab Excellence

Tara Ferguson, MLS,

Director, Lab Excellence

Joe McGann

Vice President,
General Manager Lab Operations
Over the past 30 years, Joe has held senior positions in the lab industry in both Canada and the United States. As one of Accumen’s original employees, over the last 10 years Joe has been managing a number of Accumen’s larger Clients and now oversees the Lab Operations of Accumen for the entire country. As a result of Joe’s in-depth understanding of all facets of the lab industry, this experience has contributed to Accumen being able to offer a multifaceted approach to Lab Excellence including Operations, Supply Chain, Business Development, Patient Blood Management, and IT. Joe’s experience has allowed him to be a keynote speaker at the Dark Report’s Executive War College. Joe graduated from the Richard Ivey School of Business in London, Ontario and also obtained his CPA with Price Waterhouse Coopers.

Mike Kachure

Vice President, Central Region Strategic Partnerships
Mike Kachure is the Vice President of Strategic Partnerships for Accumen’s central region. He has more than two decades of experience in business development leadership roles. In his current role, Mike leads a collaborative effort with healthcare business executives to identify opportunities for creating additional value from the laboratory. Based on the value created, a partnership is developed through a complete lab transformation plan that reduces risk while accelerating financial and operational outcomes. He received his BS in Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point and served in the Army as a 1st and 2ndLieutenant, Combat Engineer.

Katie Castree Benyo, MHA, CPHQ, ASQ CSSBB

Client Engagement Executive

Katie Benyo has over a decade of experience in healthcare performance improvement. At Accumen she spent six years in Lab Operations assessing the performance of labs, implementing efficiencies, improving quality/service, and driving bottom line improvement. Katie was a key contributor to a partnership delivering over $17M in lab savings. Today as a Client Engagement Executive, she assumes overall responsibility of value execution for clients. Her partnerships include Lab Operations, Supply Chain, Patient Blood Management, Anemia Management, and Lab Stewardship.

Prior to Accumen, Katie was a Senior Performance Improvement Specialist for a multi-institutional healthcare system. Katie holds a Bachelor’s in Community Health from the University of Illinois, and a Master of Health Administration from Saint Louis University. She is a NAHQ-Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality, ASQ-Certified Six Sigma Black Belt, TeamSTEPPS Master Trainer through AHRQ, and holds a Certificate in Laboratory Quality Management Systems from CLSI. Katie has given over 60 podium presentations, webinars, guest lectures, etc. on healthcare performance improvement.


Kelly Lucas, MLS(ASCP), MHA

Client Engagement Executive

Kelly is a Client Engagement Executive responsible for working with laboratory clients to identify opportunities that optimize operations and deliver savings against commitments. She brings over 30 years of experience in clinical laboratory operations with multi-facility healthcare organizations. She has a solid understanding of the challenges faced by healthcare clinicians and administrators to deliver high quality patient care while simultaneously meeting regulatory and business demands. Kelly strives to provide innovative and meaningful information to our clients that drive optimization of operational efficiencies and bring value to the client. She has a proven track record of driving consensus among diverse stakeholders, cultivating and maintaining strong relationships. She has developed strategies for core lab optimization, consolidation/centralization, and supply chain improvements. Kelly earned her BS degree in Medical Technology from Mississippi State University, and her Master’s degree in Management with Healthcare Concentration from Kaplan University.

Paul Villacreces, MLS, MHA, CSSBB

Senior Director, Lab Operations

As a Senior Director in lab operations, Paul is responsible for engaging with clients to execute on opportunities that drive continuous improvement across healthcare laboratories. His main areas of focus are around Quality, Service, and overall Productivity, and creating an environment that embraces change within the lab. Paul brings seventeen years of experience in healthcare, with a strong emphasis in lab process improvement, waste reduction, operational assessments, lab consolidations and standardization, outreach optimization, and strategic analysis and planning. Paul started his career as a Lab Assistant before becoming a Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and Medical Technologist, and he holds a Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration from Marymount University in Fairfax, VA. 

Susan Dougherty, MLS, MBA

Client Engagement Executive

Susan is a Client Engagement Executive responsible for working with hospital and health system clients.

Susan has more than 30 years of executive and senior-level leadership experience in large health system laboratories and commercial settings. In her current role, Susan leads laboratory excellence, imaging, cPBM and outreach services partnerships, contributing her expertise to client engagements to ensure measurable outcomes, exceptional service delivery, and ongoing client satisfaction.  

Susan brings expertise to Accumen through her professional experience including executive, vice president and general management positions in hospitals, health systems, national and regional laboratories, and joint ventures.

In managing operations with P&L responsibilities, organizations under her leadership saw significant revenue and volume growth as well as impressive gains in cost, operational efficiency, and process improvement.

Susan has shown her ability to drive results, manage client relationships, provide consistent delivery on commitments, align expectations, and manage risk.

Susan has a sound knowledge and understanding of laboratory operations. She has led organizational  efforts to improve operational effectiveness, quality of service, customer satisfaction, and revenue growth both organic and through acquisition, and physician/patient and employee satisfaction.

She has led client engagements through integration and restructuring of laboratories, through the consolidation of testing and centralization of laboratory services, and standardization of equipment.

Susan received her MBA from LaSalle University in Philadelphia and has been a clinical laboratory science lecturer as well as a mentor for health care administration students.

Jennifer White, MLS

Director, Lab Excellence

Jenn is a Director of Lab Excellence responsible for partnering with laboratory leaders to assess the performance of their labs and identify process, quality, and regulatory improvement opportunities. Her experience in clinical and reference laboratories, as well as blood banks, brings a range of knowledge benefiting clients in their goals to optimize efficiencies and quality in their laboratories. With 30 years in the industry, from bench work to senior laboratory leadership, she supports clients in need of objectivity and new approaches in an ever-changing industry. Jenn eared her BS in Biology and Medical Technology from Michigan State University.

Carrie Livesay, MLS(ASCP), LSSMBB

Director, Lab Excellence

Carrie is an Operations Director in Laboratory Excellence, responsible for working with clients to serve as a change agent while delivering on the quality, profitability, and transformation objectives of clients.

She brings nearly 40 years of laboratory experience ranging from phlebotomy, specimen processing, and MLS roles to a progressive leadership pathway of multi-facility administrative laboratory director positions in the hospital setting. Within the physician office setting, Carrie also brings over 5 years of experience including initial laboratory set-up and accreditation, daily operations, and overall management. With a passion for quality, service, compliance, efficiency, and education, Carrie incorporates experiences as a formal adjunct instructor, inspector, scientist, and leader while working with clients to optimize workflows, enhance patient care, and improve financial outcomes.

Carrie earned an AS in Medical Technology from Kettering College of Medical Arts and a BS in Clinical Laboratory Science from the University of Cincinnati. She holds a Master Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma.

Jeffrey Moore, MHA, MLS(AMT), BB(ASCP), CPHQ

Operations Director, Lab Excellence

Jeffrey is an Operations Director in Laboratory Excellence. Jeff has almost 20 years of hospital laboratory experience as a Generalist, Blood Banker and leader. He has been focused on quality improvement and operational leadership for the last 10 years.  Jeff has successfully led improvement and standardization projects from the department level up through multiple regional and national healthcare systems. 

Jeff holds a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration from Colorado State University and a BS degree in Biomedical Science from Western Michigan University along with professional certifications from American Medical Technologists and the American Society for Clinical Pathology. He is also a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality and a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt. 

Tara Ferguson, MLS, ASQ-CMQ/OE

Director, Lab Excellence

Tara is a Director in Lab Excellence with over 25 years of experience in clinical lab operations. A Microbiology and Lab Accreditation subject matter expert, she is committed to driving excellence and efficiency by partnering with clients to identify process optimizations and to deliver tangible results in both quality and productivity. Her passion for Quality Assurance, paired with her broad range of technical laboratory experience, helps clients to elevate clinical laboratory practices and results in a positive impact on patient care, operational efficiencies, and a culture of continuous improvement.

 Tara earned her BS degree in Medical Laboratory Science from Weber State University, is a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, and is an ASQ Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence.