BACKGROUND: The clinical laboratory workforce supports a laboratory system that provides patients and medical providers with information essential for the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and management of health and disease. To respond to emerging threats and public health emergencies, it is essential that the laboratory community be able to communicate and coordinate effectively both internally, with the public health system, and with the public. Strong evidence shows that the laboratory workforce shortage, due to increased demand for laboratory services, barriers to recruitment, and diminished education and training programs, is growing worse. The OneLab Initiative, launched in 2021, seeks to enhance laboratory workforce capacity by strengthening interconnections between laboratory education and training professionals within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, public health and clinical laboratories, academia, professional organizations, and manufacturers.
APPROACH: ASCP’s approach will utilize our expertise in workforce assessment, education and laboratory community communications, partnership and engagement to support expansion of the OneLab Network and creation of a sustainable learning community. Our Approach will enhance workforce capacity through communications, assessment, and the development and delivery of engaging educational resources. Proposed activities are in line with the CDC OneLab Initiative’s BRIDGE – TRAIN – SUSTAIN framework.
MEASUREMENT AND EVALUATION: ASCP’s evaluation/performance measurement plan will include both summative components to examine implementation and outcomes over the course of the project, as well as formative components to help drive program enhancement and improvement. These components will utilize multiple types of data sources and collection methods, including Web/communication analytics (e.g., the email open rates, pageviews, engagements, etc.), self-reports, knowledge tests, and document reviews.
ORGANIZATIONAL CAPACITY: The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) is a membership organization established as a 501(c)(3) and founded in 1922. With over 100,000 members including pathologists, phlebotomists, medical laboratory scientists, technicians and assistants, histotechnicians, cytotechnologists, residents and students, ASCP is the largest laboratory organization in the world and is active in over 100 countries. ASCP a leading advocate for all members of the clinical laboratory team and is actively engaged in efforts to identify and collaboratively address workforce challenges. ASCP is a leading provider of continuing education for all members of the clinical laboratory team and conducts regular surveys and assessments related to workforce challenges. As a recipient of Federal funds for over 15 years, ASCP has implemented all necessary systems and controls to meet CDC’s management requirements.