How Labs Can Innovate in 2020: Anticipating changes needed to help hospital laboratories succeed in 2020

The first mission of hospital and health system laboratories has remained the same for a half century: manage diagnostic testing and accurately produce the results on which most of a patient’s care is based. However today, no part of a hospital is immune to the pressures of cost control and increased efficiency.

Note: This article originally on Medline's website.

Layer that with distribution challenges, staff shortages, increased testing demands, and declining reimbursements and you have a perfect storm of obstacles challenging hospital lab leadership across the country. To manage these pressures while maintaining high levels of service in 2020 and beyond, laboratories have no choice but to adapt.

In my time working in lab manufacturing and distribution these past 10 years, I’ve spent a significant portion of my time in the field speaking with laboratory leaders about innovative ways of adapting to these ever-growing pressures facing the lab. The leaders I’ve encountered who were most successful did so by pursuing two measures: making an effort to cross collaborate with non-clinical cohorts with expertise in supply chain and purchasing and taking time to reevaluate their supplier relations (both distribution and manufacturing).

Collaborating more internally

One way labs can innovate in 2020 is by engaging more with teams across other departments. Collaborating internally not only gives lab professionals more opportunities to communicate their value and relevancy to other parts of the system but can also  help to offload extraneous, time consuming responsibilities, like managing supplies. Laboratory Directors and Medical Laboratory Scientists are experts in running vital tests and ensuring consistently accurate clinical outcomes. What most of them didn’t study in school or get into healthcare for is inventory management, vendor negotiations and purchasing. In the past, however, these responsibilities fell under their purview as they were asked to order and store the products necessary to run their labs. This has led to high spend in the lab, even as other areas of the hospital has streamlined and lowered costs. Click here to continue>>

 

 

 

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