The Utilization Management Committee (UMC) is a standing operational unit reporting to BC’s Agency for Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (Agency). The UMC’s mandate is to make evidence-based patient outcomes focused recommendations to the Agency for publicly funded clinical laboratory tests (inpatient and outpatient), leading to a more efficient and cost effective laboratory approach to achieve the best possible clinical outcomes. The recommendations will improve accountability, enhance transparency, increase effectiveness and harness synergies across all laboratory service providers. Utilization management recommendations should enhance patient care and quality, and release valuable resources for value-add laboratory initiatives that offer the highest clinical impact.
UMC strives to build an outcomes based patient-centered laboratory system through optimal utilization of clinical laboratory services that is accountable for high quality, affordable and accessible services that are sustainable. The recommendations provide guidance to physicians on improving appropriate clinical laboratory test ordering, delivering value to referring physicians and improving patient outcomes.
Dr. Larry Argatoff
Dr. Kamran Azar
Ms. Haleh Bahrami
Dr. Vilte Barakauskas
Dr. Richard Cleve
Ms. Catriona Gano
Dr. Doug Hardy
Dr. Daniel Holmes
Dr. Miguel Imperial
Ms. Joanne Isber
Dr. Steven Loken
Dr. Launny Lowden
Ms. Pam Ramsay
Ms. Lisette Vienneau
Dr. James Cupples (Chair)
Dr. Michael Chen
Ms. Mariana Diacu
Dr. Kennard Tan
Ms. Gloria Tang
The UMC’s purpose is to:
- Support the overarching goals of the Ministry of Health and Agency to provide clinical laboratory patient services and ensure that clinical laboratory resources are deployed efficiently and where they are most needed for the best patient care possible.
- Develop and implement a formal framework to make recommendations that promote appropriate utilization of publicly funded laboratory tests.
- Identify and recommend high value utilization management initiatives that have the greatest impact clinically, financially and operationally resulting in optimization of clinical laboratory medicine.
- Monitor and evaluate the appropriateness and necessity of clinical laboratory test utilization.
- Review clinical guidelines and changes to clinical testing and assess the impact to laboratory services utilization.
- Ensure evidence based laboratory test utilization review and adjudication processes.
The UMC consists of 14 standing members, the Chair and five ex-officio members (one from the Ministry of Health, two Agency leaders and two Agency support staff). All standing members have expertise and experience in clinical laboratory medicine. Ad-hoc stakeholders may be invited, at the request of the Chair, to address specific issues.
Test utilization management opportunities are evidence-based interventions that provide for appropriate use of publicly funded clinical laboratory tests. These interventions enhance patient care and quality, and have the greatest impact clinically, financially and/or operationally to laboratoriesi. Furthermore, they are opportunities that help manage the demands for pathology tests (i.e., reduce overordering, underordering and misordering of tests) and reduce or eliminate inappropriate requests.ii
The requester must be an employee of:
- a laboratory provider (public/private)
- a health authority
- a referring practitioner or physician
- BC’s Agency for Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
- Ministry of Health, or
- Doctors of BC
The UMC assesses the test utilization management opportunities based on medical and scientific evidence, impact on quality of patient care and safety, feasibility, impact on cost and volumes, and the ability to leverage existing structures to support clinical change.iii
The requester will be notified of the outcome of the opportunity proposed.
Gloria.Tang@phsa.ca, Project Manager, BC’s Agency for Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.
i Utilization Management Committee Terms of Reference. (2017, August 8).
ii Fryer, A. A. & Smellie, W. S. A. (2013). Managing demand for laboratory tests: a laboratory toolkit.
Journal of Clinical Pathology, 66, 62-72. doi:10.1136/jclinpath-2011-200524
iii Government of Saskatchewan. (2015, December 4). Appropriateness of Care Framework. Retrieved from