By Patty Clark, M.P.H., Michigan Department of Community Health Bureau of Laboratories
The first meeting of the Michigan Laboratory System Advisory Group (LSAG) met in November, 2009. The LSAG was formed as a direct result of the Michigan Laboratory System Improvement Program (LSIP) held last March. The intent of the LSAG is to provide a forum where Lab System partners can meet, discuss issues affecting system partners, and participate in workgroups by interest and need to solve common problems. During the LSAG meeting, a brainstorming session created a list of areas where system partners felt there was need for improvement. The items on this list were prioritized by voting as high, medium, or low priority. At this point, system partners were asked for input as to how they would like to see the group move forward. Some partners voiced a concern that we had not captured all data from the original LSIP meeting in our priority voting and all were confused as to how to proceed. The intent to get buy-in from partners by involving them in the decision making process resulted in confusion and the inability to move the group forward. We ended the meeting assuring partners we would revisit the LSIP documentation, review the brainstorming and priority lists, and get back to them with a comprehensive list from both the LSIP and the LSAG. My suggestion for others planning such a meeting is to provide more direction and ask for opinions from the group rather than expecting the group to make decisions, at least in the initial meetings.