Usage Trends: Reference Laboratories

March 2020 - Vol. 9 No. 3 - Page #18

This past November, MedicalLab Management published the results of our annual State of Laboratory Technology issue (, which included usage trends, satisfaction ratings, and acquisitions plans for several products in the clinical laboratory marketplace. Following are some additional results from this survey.

Given that nearly all clinical laboratories rely on reference labs for some testing services, effort must continue to be placed on creating efficiencies between in-house processes and technology, and those of outsourced providers. Due to the auxiliary nature of reference lab services, quality and reliability are key performance indicators in an increasingly competitive field. It bodes well that most facilities report strong satisfaction with their reference lab providers.

The services provided by reference labs are well regarded in the hospital lab; 97% of laboratory directors are satisfied with their outsourcer, with just under one-third rating their vendor as excellent.

More than 8 out of 10 facilities are planning to remain with their current providers; just 17% are considering a change of reference labs within the next 3 years.

Over the next year, a little over half of facilities (53%) project stable reference lab testing volumes, while just shy of a third are expecting reliance on reference labs to increase.


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