How onsite labs can improve patient care and experience in the physician office
What to consider and how patient care and clinical efficiency can be elevated
By Medline Newsroom Staff | May 11, 2021
Physician offices offering onsite COVID-19 testing are well-positioned to help stop the spread of the pandemic. With testing and technology all in one place, experts say it’s driving new thinking about how this clinical and operational advantage can support long-term success.
“The global pandemic has shined a light on the critical role lab plays in making quick and informed medical decisions,” said Doug Sharpe, vice president of laboratory capital at Medline. “Shifting lab resources and capabilities in-house has led to faster lab results to effectively diagnose and treat COVID-19 patients. We anticipate it will also play a stronger role in caring for everyday infectious diseases, like strep, influenza, and STDs.”
More efficient patient care
Offering lab services in the physician office setting has several benefits for both the patient and the practice, including:
- Faster results: Consumers want results fast. Shrinking turnaround time from days to minutes could enable patients to reduce their chances of spreading infection and improve outcomes.
- Greater clarity: Streamlined communication with the patient can eliminate the risk of misdelivery of results, additional appointments, and delayed treatment due to additional care provider consultations.
- Improved access: Making it easier to test and analyze can provide affordable and timely options for the most vulnerable and underserved. It maximizes the patient visit and helps reduce community transmission.
Steps to take when considering in-house labs
According to Sharpe, there are three things a physician practice can do when evaluating the opportunity of an on-site lab:
- List out and evaluate the different types of tests needed, as well as their volumes, to understand your office’s testing needs.
- Consider how patient care or patient experience could benefit from receiving more immediate results. For example, continuously monitoring patients with chronic diseases who have recovered from COVID-19 can help keep an eye on long-term effects and support their care needs.
- Once you’ve evaluated the benefit, identify the real cost for things like capital, staffing, and payback period. This can help you get a more realistic picture of how this new endeavor could impact patients and the organization.
Learn more about how Medline supports physician offices.