Laboratories cannot function solely with experts in science and technology. Healthcare is a highly regulated environment in which successful outcomes for the patients are critical and the safety and health of medical personnel is assured. Further, healthcare is also a business, and medical laboratory scientists need to understand various aspects of human resource management, sound fiscal policy, safety protocols and quality assurance.
Every organization needs leaders who can effectively manage human, physical and monetary resources and can create an environment in which top quality science can be practiced in a fiscally responsible way. Regulation of health care is continuous at all levels. Changes in the way health care is being delivered and the ways in which services are determined as medically necessary and eligible for insurance reimbursement must be monitored by vigilant lab managers everywhere. In addition, as technology expands, lab managers must become expert in computer technology which not only increases laboratory efficiency but which also provides real-time links with many institutional departments and with health care providers in the community. The Electronic Medical Record is a now a national goal, and in the near future patient records will be accessible anytime, anywhere by computer. Therefore, the curriculum continually provides students with education in many of the relevant issues in clinical laboratory management.
Scientific laboratories are filled with amazing things to see and do - microorganisms to grow, DNA to analyze, drugs to measure, blood to type, etc. However, it is essential that medical lab scientists know how to handle viruses without becoming infected, chemicals without becoming sick, radiation without becoming exposed, and so on. An essential component of the curriculum, therefore, is safety and quality laboratory protocols. Students in Salisbury's program learn how to perform laboratory testing with high quality and accuracy, but they also can manage a laboratory such that hazards are minimized and emergency response is appropriate. As a result Salisbury graduates are well able to develop the essential work practices needed for skillful but safe laboratory work.