This past year has been extraordinary in all facets, but the practice of health care has been particularly rocked, as it would be, by this ongoing, global pandemic. And while the clinical laboratory has shouldered the enormous task of adapting to a drastic workload change while also ensuring that the normal services provided continue uninterrupted, this responsibility has not been without its share of challenges. Perhaps more than ever, clinical laboratories rely upon the dynamic experience and skill sets of a variety of medical laboratory scientists, pathologists, technologists, and other essential roles to operate at peak performance. The other half of the equation involves the stalwart, reliable, sophisticated, and robust automation and technology that in the right hands, can bring to bear true patient health care and sustain and apply medical breakthroughs to combatting disease now, and in the future.
With the business of running a laboratory in mind, the director must seek to budget for all costs (eg, instrumentation, information services interfaces, maintenance, upgrades, consumables, waste, etc), develop accurate ROIs, and be prepared to explain how new automation and related technology will positively impact the patient through metrics such as reduced length of stay, improved drug therapy decisions, reduced TAT, reduced specimen needs, and so on. As always, encourage front-line staff to provide input on how automation will benefit their work, while also considering all technical and human resources, and the reduction of risk.
Moving forward, the acquisition of advanced technologies will remain crucial to servicing the ever-growing needs and desires of today’s clinicians. No doubt laboratory directors are besieged with requests from all clinical disciplines, so these must be prioritized according to utility and benefit.continues to champion the support of clinical laboratories through the acquisition of new automation and technology.