Illustration of a clinical lab bench with a laptop, clipboard, and microscope.
With the right knowledge, tools, and thoughtful deployment, improved cost, quality, and patient care can be achieved.
iStock, jemastock

Unlocking Actionable Intelligence within the Clinical Lab

With the right knowledge, tools, and deployment, improved cost, quality, and patient care can be achieved

John Moyer

John Moyer, senior product director of the lab division for hc1, has more than 18 years of experience in the health care industry, including six years in the lab. He...

ViewFull Profile
Published:Oct 26, 2022
|2 min read
Photo portrait of John Moyer
John Moyer, senior product director of the lab division for hc1, has more than 18 years of experience in the health care industry, including six years in the lab. He has substantial knowledge of research techniques, lab procedures, and applying the scientific method across a wide variety of specialties.

In less than 10 years, technological advancements have had an enormous impact on the health care industry, which according to RBC Capital Markets, produces approximately 30 percent of the world’s data volume.1 Capturing every moment of the patient care journey now makes it possible to incorporate integrated, real-time access to data into reporting.

As clinical laboratories have evolved, so has the desire to improve the quality of care and contain costs across the sector. With the right knowledge, tools, and thoughtful deployment, improved cost, quality, and patient care can be achieved. If you’re a clinical lab leader looking to implement effective programs, consider the following steps:

1. Invest in infrastructure

When multiple systems are in place, pulling data from multiple disparate sources and making sense of it can be a time-consuming process. This prevents your lab from quickly accessing the insights needed to improve how your lab manages internal and external processes and relationships.

To get a complete picture that will enable you and health care providers to make better-informed decisions, it’s critical to put in place infrastructure that unifies your systems and aggregates and automates data workflows.

2. Build a foundation

Once the infrastructure is in place, it’s much easier to aggregate, structure, and normalize the data to then develop analytics. Applying machine learning and artificial intelligence tools can further enhance this data to design more advanced metrics, key performance indicators, and biomarkers to take appropriate action. The end goal is to make it easier and faster to connect trends and risk signals across the organization to drive meaningful change.

3. Cultivate a data-driven culture

Because lab tests represent the single highest-volume medical intervention, with more than 7 billion tests performed every year in the US,2 having the means and the mindset to transform that data into actionable information is essential.

A data-driven culture enables clinical laboratories to shift from decisions that are based solely on assumptions and past experiences to foresight and data-backed recommendations. Adding visualizations to tell a compelling story, as well as automating real-time alerts, makes it easier to get enterprise-wide support for meaningful change.

Additionally, liberating lab teams from previously tedious manual tasks provides better staffing alignment and allows lab teams to focus on people versus the process. 

The health care data pool will only continue to grow. Gaining better visibility into its insights offers clinical leaders and providers a deeper and more accurate understanding of the patient story, which could sometimes mean the difference between life and death.

Leveraging clinical data to gain actionable intelligence leads to the right test and the right prescription for patients, and improves productivity and patient safety while cutting costs.

References:

  1. RBC. Episode 1: The healthcare data explosion. RBC Capital Markets.
  2. Phillips KA, Deverka PA. The Emerging Use By Commercial Payers Of Third-Party Lab Benefit Managers For Genetic Testing. HealthAffairs. October 23, 2019.