Reference Laboratories


December 2020 - Vol.9 No. 11 - Page #6

Given that nearly all clinical laboratories rely on reference laboratories for some testing services, effort must continue in creating efficiencies between in-house processes and technology, and those of outsourced service providers. Utilization of reference laboratory services is strongest among those facilities outsourcing 10%-30% of total testing workloads. Whether providing relief for high-volume testing or offering esoteric instrumentation and expertise, reference labs remain a vital resource for medical diagnostic testing.

Although many facilities have been able to adopt advanced technologies, many more do not have the financial or personnel resources, let alone the test volume, necessary to make such advanced automation and instrumentation systems viable for in-house operations. Thus, reference laboratory services are expected to continue to be widely utilized by clinical laboratories of all types and sizes. Due to the auxiliary nature of these 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 service providers and loyalty remains solid.


With 95% of all laboratories outsourcing at least some of their testing to a reference lab, reliance on these services is expected to continue for facilities of all sizes.


Reference lab testing continues to be integral to most laboratory operations, with most facilities outsourcing 10-30% of their testing.


With 83% giving high marks to their reference labs, these services are well regarded inasmuch as they are widely utilized.


While just over half (54%) of facilities expect reference lab utilization to remain the same next year, three out of 10 facilities plan to expand their outsourced testing volumes.


Vendor loyalty has proven steady for several years, yet there remains room for change in this practically requisite relationship.

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