Hospital Laboratory, Innovation and Value-Based Healthcare

First published in Healthcare Innovation News

When people think about innovation, it’s often in the form of a new technology. But that isn’t always the case. Often, innovation comes in the way we approach challenges and opportunities. In a hospital laboratory, for example, innovation can result when information, resources or processes are reimagined, renewed and transformed to deliver greater value. Innovation can be the game changer in a lab that paves the way to transitioning to a more value-based system.

Certainly, with any change come challenges. But labs will be more effective in instituting change if they get the appropriate leadership support and physician buy-in. In a value-based system, labs will be measured on quality and efficiency as opposed to quantity. Therefore, visibility and transparency of labor, supply chain and blood productivity are essential, all while providing increased speed and accuracy of diagnoses. One approach health systems are implementing to meet the expectations of value-based healthcare is test utilization.

Labs will need to effectively and efficiently manage laboratory test utilization by both ensuring adequate utilization of necessary tests in some patients and discouraging unnecessary tests in other patients. This can be done through insights generated from lab data analytics, physician order optimization and effective physician outreach campaigns.

No doubt, labs, a core component of the health system, will need to rise up to new levels of innovation to support a value-based health system, as they are imperative to a hospital’s ability to serve and grow with its communities and achieve a new level of healthcare delivery.