Restructuring of hospital laboratories is an effort by government health programs to achieve economies of scale and, thereby reduce the cost of medical laboratory testing in England and Australia
Hospital-based clinical laboratories in both England and Australia are being closed by government health programs. These moves are intended to further consolidate medical laboratory testing into larger regional lab facilities and achieve lower costs through economies of scale.
This is being done at hospitals located in communities where the economies of scale don’t quite support the local provision of full-service clinical and pathology testing. Following announcements that a local hospital laboratory is to be downsized or consolidated, there is often pushback from community members and unions representing healthcare workers, including clinical laboratory scientists. (more…)
Sir Muir Gray addresses Frontiers in Laboratory Medicine
“Manage knowledge as though it is money” was the advice that Sir Muir Gray offered pathologists and clinical laboratory scientists attending last week’s Frontiers in Laboratory Medicine (FiLM) conference that took place in Birmingham, England. He was explaining how 20th Century Medicine is evolving into 21st Century Medicine.
Sir Muir Gray is the Chief Knowledge Officer for Great Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) National Library for Health.
Highly-automated hospital labs are organized to serve inpatient testing and don’t compete for “outreach” lab business from office-based physicians in the community
DATELINE: AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND—In this nation’s single payer health system, clinical laboratory testing services are allotted to hospital laboratories and commercial laboratories in very specific ways. Consequently, hospital laboratories in New Zealand tend to provide testing primarily for inpatients and for outpatients seen by specialists who practice within the hospital’s facilities.
This is an interesting distinction which sets New Zealand hospital laboratories apart from hospital labs in such countries as the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, and Australia. In each of these countries, it is common for hospital laboratories to provide some laboratory testing to the outpatient and outreach sector, particularly to primary care clinics and office-based specialist physicians.
AACC’s annual meeting still offers impressive array of scientific sessions and exhibits
Yesterday ended the 2009 Annual Meeting of the American Association of Clinical Chemistry (AACC) in Chicago, Illinois. Your Dark Daily team was there to ferret out anything new and interesting and to sniff out the latest trends in the business of laboratory testing.
As expected, this year’s event was considerably subdued. Attendance was clearly down, even though the exhibition hall featured more than 650 exhibitors—a number comparable to last year. But the exuberance of recent years was gone. For example, AACC did not make a public address announcement in the exhibit hall to announce the total number of attendees this year and thank everyone—at least not when your Dark Daily editor was in the exhibit hall. Speculation was that this year’s total attendance was down from the 20,000+ attendees in each of recent years. Estimates were that the attendance decline ranged from 20% to 30% fewer attendees.
Noted Author lauds the quiet professionals working in the world’s laboratories
Seldom do laboratory professionals get the recognition they deserve each day for their role in protecting the public health from spread of disease. Now, with the specter of an influenza pandemic hanging over the world, CNN Contributor Bob Greene suggests it is time to pay homage to what he describes as our unsung “heroes in lab coats.”
Writing yesterday in a commentary on the CNN Web site, Greene observed “Right now, as the eventual path of the swine flu emergency remains uncertain, the world is beginning to turn its pleading eyes in the direction of men and women whose names and faces we don’t even know. The wider world seldom gives them a thought until suddenly we realize that we need them.”