Beyond Bloodwork: Why Clinical Testing Labs are Critical to Healthcare
It’s no secret that clinical testing labs play a vital role in our healthcare system. Most people tend to think of labs as processors of bloodwork, and while that is truly part of their role, they also provide additional — critical — value to our society and industry. In fact, 70% of today’s medical decisions depend on laboratory test results, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Here, we examine how clinical blood testing labs serve as the foundation for a functioning healthcare system. From innovative and breakthrough technologies to collateral benefit to the economy, the value of clinical labs is incalculable.
The results from tests processed in clinical labs guide medical decisions and help physicians detect and diagnose problems and put together personalized treatment plans for their patients. Chronic disease and injury and late diagnoses can be enormous financial burdens on the healthcare system. Lab testing can assist with identifying issues early on and even preventing disease from progressing.
Early detection and prevention are great for patients, of course, but they also drive savings across the health care system. For example, diabetes alone is associated with $16 billion in annual spending that could have been avoided through earlier diagnosis and better disease management, and is projected to cost as much as $514 billion by 2025, according to the American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA). Laboratory tests are key to flagging pre-diabetes, giving physicians and their patients necessary information to delay or prevent costly diabetes complications.
Customized healthcare, or precision medicine, tailors treatment to an individual’s genetics or other biomarkers for a more successful approach to overall health. Without clinical labs, customized healthcare would not be possible, and patient care would be less successful, cost more money, and stretch healthcare resources too thin.
Good for the Economy
The testing labs themselves account for just a small portion of the United States healthcare costs, but provide information that when acted upon, can lead to tremendous financial savings. Beyond passive benefits, clinical laboratories also provide a significant impact to the U.S. economy, contributing more than $106 billion in total economic output, supporting more than 688,000 jobs, generating $44 billion in wages, and paying more than $14 billion in state and federal taxes, according to ACLA.
Approximately 80% of the nation’s 322,488 clinical laboratories operate as small businesses that significantly contribute to local jobs and economies.
Highly Skilled Workers
Lab professionals are licensed, specially trained, meticulous, and in most cases, certified for their respective positions. They operate specialized instrumentation and techniques to analyze a variety of patient samples. Clinical labs are regulated by the federal government and required to provide accurate, reliable and timely results, and laboratory personnel are held to standards for education and training to be able to process specimens, perform tests, and report accurate results.
Clinical labs are performing advanced, innovative testing to keep the healthcare industry at the forefront of technology. From routine blood tests to genetic and molecular tests, lab professionals play an important part in identifying, monitoring and treating disease as well as driving healthcare costs down.
MOMS helps connect labs with skilled workers to benefit the greater good through our network of Medical Access Points (MAPs). As part of this network, lab facilities are connected to phlebotomy labor and collection facilities, and have the opportunity to expand their reach and grow their earnings. Having access to these resources help labs run more effectively and ultimately, benefit the healthcare system in the many ways mentioned above.
Are you a clinical lab, skilled laboratory technician, or collection facility looking to benefit from a strong network? Contact us today for more information.