Dear Colleagues,

I'm writing to let you know about a project, known as the Laboratory Collaborative initiative that is underway in Toronto.  This work has the support of the CEOs of St. Joseph's, CAMH, Women's College, Toronto Rehab, Toronto East General, Sick Kids, Mt. Sinai, Sunnybrook, St. Michael's and University Health Network.  At UHN it also has the support of Brad Davis and Sylvia Asa - two people who are critical to the success of all laboratory initiatives.

There have been four studies in the past on laboratory medicine and services -- some commissioned by the government -- with a view to collaboration and consolidation of laboratory medicine services.  It is not a new idea that the laboratories in the hospitals should work together.  Indeed, this is the case in most major cities across the country so the CEOs of the hospitals listed above believe that it is time to look at Toronto and develop the best and most effective laboratory medicine service for all of our patients.

The CEOs have discussed standardization of training and clinical placements which will serve all hospitals, all students and ensure a better method of human resource planning for Toronto's laboratories.  We also think that best practices and best services in laboratory medicine should be available to all of Toronto's patients.  There is significant interest in focused Centres of Excellence amongst the organizations at the table and a variety of ways of working so that all patients in the Toronto area will have access to the best and most knowledgeable health care teams.  And, it would come as no surprise that we are also interested in financial savings that would from working together to purchase supplies, equipment and services related to laboratory medicine.   In addition, we will be looking at all the implications of the integration with a focus on human resource planning through the HR Committee of the Laboratory Collaborative.

I am pleased to tell you that the TC-LHIN supports the Laboratory Collaborative initiative and there are guidelines in the LHIN legislation which provide for the integration of services across institutions.  These guidelines will be followed as the project moves forward.

Bob Bell

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