Article

How to deliver more value-based lab services in the space you have available

Taking advantage of the lab’s unique position to improve healthcare delivery

In vitro diagnostic testing can reduce both direct and indirect healthcare costs if it results in more accurate and timely medical diagnoses. Clinical labs are in a unique position to help bring the promise of healthcare innovations to patients.1,2

 

For labs to remain competitive, understanding and demonstrating how their offerings can help health systems and payers create value and improve outcomes for patients is imperative.2

 

The available space that laboratories have to operate may seem like a challenge to deliver more value-based lab services, however there are ways to achieve this without additional space requirements. 

Laboratories can add value in one of two ways:3

1.

Conducting cost-effective lab operations

 

  • Processes and events within lab boundaries with a focus on efficiency

  • Performance measures include cost, analytical performance (relating to the accuracy of result), turnaround time, and test availability

 

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2.

Practicing resourceful
lab medicine3

 

  • Processes and events beyond lab boundaries with a focus on effectiveness

  • Includes consultation on topics such as test selection, test performance and investigation, and test interpretation 

 

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Cost effective

1.

Conducting cost-effective lab operations

Timely and accurate diagnostic results can reduce both direct and indirect healthcare costs.

Therefore, with the resources you have available, it is imperative to deliver: High quality and reliable results that are medically valuable in a short turnaround time.

Two components that can greatly affect the cost-effectiveness of your lab operations are your instrumentation and test menu. The right equipment can help you maximise lab performance and increase staff walkaway time with time-saving technologies, allowing them to focus on other important tasks.

Defining the optimal test menu can help clinicians select the correct test or panel of tests for diagnosing and monitoring patients. Although it may not be feasible to offer all tests, there are some questions when selecting a test provider that may be considered to help ensure you meet the testing needs of clinicians and their patients today, but also in the future. 
 

  • Do they offer a broad assay menu (with research and development efforts invested to expand it)? 

  • Are the tests medically relevant and valuable? 

  • Will the reagent onboard stability allow lower volume, yet medically valuable, tests to be offered at an efficient cost in house?

A person working in a lab
Resourseful lab medicine

2.

Practicing resourceful lab medicine

The practice of resourceful lab medicine is an area less exploited and where labs can add immense value.3
 

Crawford et al. (2017) proposed this be accomplished via the evolution of the clinical laboratory business model from “Clinical Lab 1.0” (transactional) to “Clinical Lab 2.0” (integrative).1 The overall implication is that labs move away from the traditional pay-per-test business model to one that leverages laboratory data to produce actionable, clinical insights, driving better outcomes for patients, providers, and financial stakeholders. 

cobas pure close up

Leveraging lab data with analytical tools to add value

Laboratory analytics and the active involvement of clinicians are key to expand services and transition to a value-based care model.3 Due to the increasing complexity and number of diagnostic tests available, healthcare professionals are challenged to know and apply the vast wealth of information, which surpasses their human capabilities.1,5

Inappropriate test selection can lead to adverse clinical outcomes for patients and financial consequences to healthcare institutions.3,6-9 To help address this serious challenge, leading labs have begun to partner with companies that offer health IT solutions.7-10

Analytical tools may provide:

  • Meaningful insights to physicians concerning test utilisation7,10

  • Improvement in the accuracy and speed of the diagnostic workup5

  • Test ordering recommendations 7-10

Two people in the lab

Thinking long term, sustainable growth

Over time, with the advancement of analytics and artificial intelligence, clinical labs could further drive better outcomes for patients, providers, and financial stakeholders. For instance, integrating diagnostic, treatment and outcome data from a large data set of patients, may help stratify patients into responding and non-responding subpopulations for a particular treatment.11 This knowledge could bypass costly trial-and-error treatment for future patients.11

 

Partner with a company that realises the immense value that large amounts of data has and is underway in providing and integrating these tools in their core lab offerings.

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To learn more about Roche’s upcoming innovative clinical chemistry and immunochemistry analyser solution that can help you deliver more value-based lab services in the space you have available, sign up to our Newsletter. 

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References

 

  1. Crawford JM, et al. (2017). Acad Path 4, 1-8

  2. Deloitte Development LLC. (2017). Report available from: https://www.advamed.org/sites/default/files/resource/advameddiagnosticframeworkreport_09.pdf [Accessed November 2020]

  3. Schmidt RL and Ashwood ER. (2015). Am J Clin Pathol 144, 357-358

  4. Bogavac-Stanojevic N and Jelic-Ivanovic Z. (2017). J Med Biochem 36, 238–242

  5. Committee on Diagnostic Error in Health Care; Board on Health Care Services; Institute of Medicine; The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Balogh EP, Miller BT, Ball JR. editors. (2015). Book available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK338590/ [Accessed November 2020]

  6. Zhi M, et al. (2013) PLoS ONE 8, e78962

  7. Monica K. (2017). Article available from: https://ehrintelligence.com/news/mayo-clinic-adds-clinical-decision-support-tools-to-labs [Accessed November 2020]

  8. Conley D. (2017). Article available from: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170731005976/en/Viewics-Launches-Diagnostic-Optimization-LabOps-LiveMonitor-Solutions [Accessed November 2020]

  9. Cap today (2016). Article available from: http://captodayonline.com/plugs-picks-viewics-analytics-partner/ [Accessed November 2020]

  10. Viewics Inc. Company website available from: https://viewics.com/dx-optimization/  [Accessed November 2020]

  11. Kerber L. (2017). Article available from: https://www.pharmexec.com/view/ai-and-lab-data-enabling-decision-making-real-time   [Accessed November 2020]