In recognition of Medical Lab Week, we're profiling lab staff who are making a difference in the lives of people in the communities we serve.
A certified science geek who is passionate about health care, Laura Book knew the lab would be her match. She has spent her entire career working at BC Children's Hospital and BC Women's Hospital (C&W)—first in microbiology and virology and now, as a lab site supervisor.
"Medical laboratory work is unique and complex. What I love about this role, after working in microbiology and virology for many years, is the ability to get myself out of my comfort zone and reconnect with all of the other areas again. It has been fun," says Laura.
In February, some parts of C&W went live with the Clinical & Systems Transformation (CST) Cerner system. Like many others on campus, the lab was a key player in this system transformation, and Laura and her team played a major role in supporting the rollout.
"When I was asked to lead the lab operations for the CST rollout, I had no idea of the commitment it would involve. IT and complex systems were not in my comfort zone so it was a very steep learning curve," she says. "Luckily, with the support of my team, we were able to wrap our minds around the complexities of the project and work together to get things done. This project has brought our team so much closer and that has been a wonderful bonus," explains Laura.
So far, CST has made several positive differences for the lab, including better tracking of samples, safer collections and positive patient identification, and overall, being a more efficient resource for lab staff accessing patient information.
While out-of-sight, the lab staff at C&W are far from being out of mind. For Laura, Medical Lab week is a time to celebrate these less "seen" but very important members of health care.
"Many people are surprised to know that we have a staff of about 300 people in the lab at C&W and each of them provides very specialized and unique services. Although lab services are not as visible, we are vital to the system. I am proud and passionate about the work that we do and how it contributes to the well-being of our patients."