The practice of clinical laboratory consulting is undergoing rapid change, both leading and also reflecting changes inside our healthcare system. These modifications are driven by fresh technologies that allow molecular and genomic screening now, electronic data integration and collection; evidence-based and personalized medicine, and the vertical and horizontal integration of most ongoing health care. The laboratory will be in the heart of these massive modifications, with medical laboratory test outcomes a key element in 70% or even more of most medical decisions.
The transformation of the clinical laboratory from the passive service role to a dynamic role in patient diagnosis and administration, has encouraged nonphysician laboratory professionals to get involved beyond the bench. Their growing role in what offers historically been named the practice of medication has generated a conundrum: are nonphysician professionals really qualified to recommend clinicians, interpret tests in medical contexts, and/or suggest testing for specific individuals?
The question has been raised concerning whether laboratory medication as practiced today requires, on a routine basis, direct pathologist involvement in the choice and interpretation of test outcomes built-into specific clinical contexts.
Studies show the clinical and economic worth of properly trained laboratory experts that are truly expert inside assisting attending doctors with test choice and interpretation. Having less clinical involvement is connected with significant consequences: 15% - 54% of primary treatment medical errors are linked to the testing procedure; 17% of healthcare investing in the U.S. is because of test over-utilization; and almost a third of overall healthcare spending could be because of potentially avoidable clinical treatment.
Is consultation supplied by medically-trained laboratory experts, including pathologists, along with other physicians with laboratory coaching, more closely connected with enhanced clinical outcomes than consultation supplied by non-medical laboratory experts? In a recently available study, researchers figured non-medical scientists also have successfully undertaken leadership functions within laboratory medicine, like the directorships, therefore precluding the absolute dependence on a medical level in fulfilling the majority of the laboratory professional’s responsibilities.
However, it really is acknowledged that high quality laboratory service is not about providing accurate just, useful and timely info to the attending doctors; it must be offered within the context of this patient’s conditions. As a total result, in many situations, without medical training and encounter in the treatment of patients, nonphysician clinical laboratory professionals usually don't have the contextual history to totally and optimally aid the clinician.
It really is in this atmosphere of interacting forces and passions, that the laboratory and its own professional staff must redefine their functions, including who provides what forms of consultation to attending doctors.