Among the ongoing challenges facing clinical laboratory practice, perhaps most profound is the relative scarcity of new, highly-trained and multitalented technologists, technicians, and other laboratorians necessary to maintain laboratory operations at peak function. While this challenge remains, advances in technology have gone to great measure to keep pace and provide instruments and systems that can ease the burden of staffing challenges.
Furthermore, acquiring advanced technologies is crucial to servicing the ever-growing needs and desires of today’s clinicians. With this in mind, careful consideration must be given to the implementation of new automation and technology. No doubt laboratory directors are besieged by requests from all disciplines in the clinical lab, so decisions are further complicated by clinical priority and impact.
Regardless, finding a proper balance between skilled human practitioners and necessary technological breakthroughs will remain a goal for all clinical laboratories.
Facility administrations continue to demonstrate solid support for automation budgets, with almost 7 out of 10 laboratories avoiding budget reductions for new technology.
While approximately half of facilities expect a similar budget next year, 24% expect a budget increase, that number itself an increase from 18% last year.
Future budget projections continue to be optimistic, with a majority of facilities projecting increases in their budgets for new automation and technology in the lab.
After several years of fairly stable projections, 2019 saw an appreciable uptick in short term budget projections; a sign of healthy technology acquisition expectations.
Likewise, the upward trend of future budget projections continues with 41% expecting continued growth in the next 3-5 years.