• By Andy Tofilon

Mayo Medical Laboratories and Seattle Children’s Hospital Partner in Effort to Lower Costs of Clinical Laboratory Tests

February 23, 2015
Mayo Clinic Children's Hospital

Mayo Medical Laboratories and Seattle Children's Hospital are collaborating to improve test utilization in children's hospitals around the country.

ROCHESTER, Minnesota – Mayo Medical Laboratories is partnering with Seattle Children’s Hospital to research and develop ways to help the children’s hospitals around the country decrease costs and potential errors associated with unnecessary laboratory testing.

“Mayo and Seattle Children’s have collaborated on this important issue for years,” says Don Flott, director of utilization management at Mayo Medical Laboratories. “Test utilization is one strategy both organizations use for performing appropriate laboratory and pathology testing with the goal of providing high-quality, cost-effective patient care.”

In 2014, Mayo became a Gold Sponsor of Seattle Children’s Pediatric Laboratory Utilization Guidance Services (PLUGS), which is a leading test-utilization program launched by the hospital in 2013.

MEDIA CONTACT: Andrew Tofilon, Mayo Clinic Marketing Administrator, 507-538-5245, newsbureau@mayo.edu.

Don Flott

Don Flott

PLUGS is an online and membership-focused resource that brings together leading children’s hospitals to enable laboratories and practitioners to review such items as test orders, test volumes, new technology, etc. PLUGS also hopes to guide national consensus policies related to pediatric laboratory testing.

“Gold Sponsorship of PLUGs is a natural and critical extension of our long-term collaboration to deliver the highest quality laboratory testing for patients in the region,” says Flott. “Mayo Medical Laboratories has been offering test-utilization services to our clients for years, and we want to collaborate with Seattle Children’s because their motives are patient-care driven—the same values of Mayo Clinic.”

Mike Astion, M.D., Ph.D.

Mike Astion, M.D., Ph.D.

“The reason Seattle Children’s Hospital uses Mayo Medical Laboratories as its primary reference laboratory is because Mayo has provided significant help in improving pediatric laboratory quality in all dimensions including laboratory utilization, and advanced clinical consultation. In addition, like Seattle Children’s Mayo is fully integrated into a hospital, research facility, and educational institution,” says Mike Astion, M.D., Ph.D., laboratory medical director at Seattle Children’s and clinical professor at the University of Washington. “We want to build on our long-standing collaboration with Mayo Medical Laboratories to advance utilization strategies and best practices at hospitals around the country. Mayo Medical Laboratories is uniquely positioned to be able to bring a wealth of perspective to our members as they continue to advance the role of laboratory medicine in today’s dynamic health care environment.”

To learn more about PLUGs and its online resources, visit Seattle Children’s Integrated Laboratory Services website.


About Seattle Children’s

PLUGS is a Seattle Children’s Hospital activity whose mission is to reduce test ordering errors on children in the United States and decrease the financial burden of unnecessary testing on families. PLUGS began in 2012 in response to a patient complaint. Since then PLUGS has grown into a national Lab Utilization collaboration whose vision is to be the #1 provider of lab test utilization management tools in the United States. For more information, visit www.seattlechildrenslab.org.

About Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at Mayo Clinic
The Mayo Clinic Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology and its reference laboratory, Mayo Medical Laboratories, provide advanced laboratory testing and pathology services to support 4,000 health care organizations around the world. Revenue from this testing is used to support medical education and research at Mayo Clinic, a nonprofit worldwide leader in medical care, research, and education for people from all walks of life. Complemented by collaborations with diagnostic and biotechnology companies, the department maintains a robust diagnostic test-development program, launching more than 150 new tests each year.

About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to medical research and education, and providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/about-mayo-clinic or https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/.