The CALC technique can be used to estimate and compare the “true” cost of using different approaches for meeting a hospital laboratory s service demands. Other issues, however, need to be considered because both direct and indirect costs are associated with intangible factors that may be difficult to quantify. How, for example, can you estimate the cost incurred when nurses try unsuccessfully to find a physician to transmit results in the critical care unit, or when nurses repeatedly try to call the laboratory for test results? Delays in reporting results can cause clinicians to request additional tests that they would not otherwise need if results had been available while they were still at the patients bedside.
When testing is moved to reduce turnaround times, most of the expenses incurred in the central laboratory are unchanged or lower (Table 5-B), making the cost of processing tests at the bedside appear to be higher. asthma inhalers
As noted in other articles in this symposium, however, there may be significant cost savings for other aspects of the patients care. Reduced morbidity and a reduction of the stay in the critical care unit or the hospital can more than offset any incremental bedside testing costs.