Lab of the Year: Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin wins national honor

Nimfa Albano, BSMT (ASCP), holds the issue of Medical Laboratory Observer that honors Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin as having the Lab of the Year.

Laboratory services might not be something you think about much during a hospital stay or visit, but they are a crucial part of having a successful experience. And at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, you get the very best.

And that’s not just us talking. Medical Laboratory Observer recently honored Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin as having the Lab of the Year, selecting our Laboratory Services department among a field of candidates that included adult and pediatric, academic and private, and small and large labs from across the nation.

Why is it so important to have a high-quality lab? Well, it’s estimated that 60-70 percent of all decisions about patient treatment are made on the basis of lab tests.

How we earned national recognition

Part of why we were recognized for the national award is our pediatric focus. Our laboratory staff specializes in tests for children, and we understand the stress a blood draw can cause for you and your child. We use pain management techniques and therapies, such as pet therapy — where a cute, charming canine comes in to visit to help keep everyone calm during the visit — to make everything as stress-free as possible. Our outpatient phlebotomists also have lots of experience and tricks up their sleeves to make drawing blood easier for kids.

Our specialized menu of tests is geared toward childhood illnesses and can be done by taking smaller samples. We have eight pathologists who are board certified in pediatric pathology, and three lab directors with doctoral degrees in their specialties, so this expertise, along with our work style, make laboratory testing easier and more useful for our patients, their families, and our physicians. Having that level of dedication from our staff allows our teams (such as chemistry, hematology, microbiology, etc.) to focus on larger issues and to assist our clinicians in delivering top-notch care.

We’re proud of the award, but what makes us even more proud is what got us there. We receive hundreds of thousands of samples each year, and everyone in the our lab treats each one with the care and attention to detail as if it were from their own child. Whether we are on the front lines administering a test, or back in the lab getting the results, we believe kids deserve the best.

Jason A Jarzembowski, MD, PhD– Jason Jarzembowski, MD, PhD, interim medical director, pathology and laboratory medicine, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin is the region’s only independent health care system dedicated solely to the health and well-being of children.

Learn more about Jason Jarzembowski, MD, PhD.


Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin wins Lab of the Year — 3 Comments

  1. I’d love to know what pain management techniques and therapies are all available. Last time my son had blood drawn he was screaming the whole time and nothing was offered. I even asked if you had anything to distract with, such as “Buzzy”, and the tech had never heard of it. UW does have “Buzzy” available so I was surprised you didn’t as well.

  2. Sara,

    Our laboratory at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin offers Pain Ease spray, for patients over age 1. The spray “freezes” the draw site, in an effort to minimize the pain from the needlestick. For patients under 1 year, we offer sucrose, which causes a release of endorphins to relax the infant during the procedure. In addition, we offer the services of a child life specialist and therapy dogs to further assist patients through the procedure (by appointment). We investigated use of the Buzzy device a number of years ago, but were unable to find an effective way to disinfect the device between patients, and opted for these other solutions. I would be happy to discuss with you what is best for your child. Feel free to contact me at any time. My phone number is 414-266-2518.


    Tara Schmidt, MBA, MT (ASCP)
    Laboratory Manager of Support Services
    Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

  3. Buzzy Healthcare Mini can be cleaned with a saniwipe between patients. Healthcare Wings can also be cleaned, or some hospitals use single-use wings they can give to patients. Buzzy has been proven to be twice as effective as cold spray, which can actually increase pain – research shows it begins to benefit when patients are older than 12 years (Ramsook et al). Let us know if we can help!