Clinical laboratory: bigger is not always better

Clinical laboratory: bigger is not always better AbstractLaboratory services around the world are undergoing substantial consolidation and changes through mechanisms ranging from mergers, acquisitions and outsourcing, primarily based on expectations to improve efficiency, increasing volumes and reducing the cost per test. However, the relationship between volume and costs is not linear and numerous variables influence the end cost per test. In particular, the relationship between volumes and costs does not span the entire platter of clinical laboratories: high costs are associated with low volumes up to a threshold of 1 million test per year. Over this threshold, there is no linear association between volumes and costs, as laboratory organization rather than test volume more significantly affects the final costs. Currently, data on laboratory errors and associated diagnostic errors and risk for patient harm emphasize the need for a paradigmatic shift: from a focus on volumes and efficiency to a patient-centered vision restoring the nature of laboratory services as an integral part of the diagnostic and therapy process. Process and outcome quality indicators are effective tools to measure and improve laboratory services, by stimulating a competition based on intra- and extra-analytical performance specifications, intermediate outcomes and customer satisfaction. Rather than competing with economic value, clinical laboratories should adopt a strategy based on a set of harmonized quality indicators and performance specifications, active laboratory stewardship, and improved patient safety. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Diagnosis de Gruyter

Clinical laboratory: bigger is not always better

Diagnosis , Volume 5 (2): 6 – Jun 27, 2018

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Publisher
de Gruyter
Copyright
©2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston
ISSN
2194-802X
eISSN
2194-802X
D.O.I.
10.1515/dx-2018-0019
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractLaboratory services around the world are undergoing substantial consolidation and changes through mechanisms ranging from mergers, acquisitions and outsourcing, primarily based on expectations to improve efficiency, increasing volumes and reducing the cost per test. However, the relationship between volume and costs is not linear and numerous variables influence the end cost per test. In particular, the relationship between volumes and costs does not span the entire platter of clinical laboratories: high costs are associated with low volumes up to a threshold of 1 million test per year. Over this threshold, there is no linear association between volumes and costs, as laboratory organization rather than test volume more significantly affects the final costs. Currently, data on laboratory errors and associated diagnostic errors and risk for patient harm emphasize the need for a paradigmatic shift: from a focus on volumes and efficiency to a patient-centered vision restoring the nature of laboratory services as an integral part of the diagnostic and therapy process. Process and outcome quality indicators are effective tools to measure and improve laboratory services, by stimulating a competition based on intra- and extra-analytical performance specifications, intermediate outcomes and customer satisfaction. Rather than competing with economic value, clinical laboratories should adopt a strategy based on a set of harmonized quality indicators and performance specifications, active laboratory stewardship, and improved patient safety.

Journal

Diagnosisde Gruyter

Published: Jun 27, 2018

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