Medicine of the Future in America

Evaluating STAT Testing Alternatives by Calculating Annual Laboratory Costs: Discussion (Part 2)

Another concern involves liability risk if a hospital is unable to provide results within a clinically acceptable time frame. Would this make the hospital more vulnerable to lawsuits? What would be the cost if the hospitals defense in a case is jeopardized because result reporting is slower than the accepted standard-of-care? Other issues concern the integrity of the specimen when transport is delayed. If a delay or other mishandling reduces the Po2 by only a few millimeters of mercury, a patient could be denied needed oxygen therapy. ventolin inhalers
To most effectively select configurations that will address these concerns, a careful evaluation must be made of each alternative. The following considerations should be made: What tests will be required? What volume of testing is expected? What level of test accuracy is required? What turnaround times for results are needed? Will there be a need to provide seven-day, 24-hour testing services? What level of training will be required for operators? Who will operate the equipment? Who will maintain the equipment?
Once the CALC technique is used to estimate costs and these issues and questions have been addressed, it will be possible to evaluate the cost and clinical impact of different configurations. Consultation between laboratory professionals and the clinical staff can be useful in developing the best testing alternative. The challenge will be to simultaneously manage the decision process from a medical, scientific, and economic perspective. Coitimunication and coordination between all interested departments will be the key to preserving and hopefully improving the quality and cost-effectiveness of laboratory service.

This entry was posted in Evaluating STAT Testing Alternatives and tagged Analyze, Laboratory testing, Quality control.
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