It’s an often-quoted statistic: Medical laboratories drive more than 70 percent of all healthcare decisions. As such, it’s critical for outreach laboratories to communicate effectively and efficiently with physicians to support decisions regarding patient diagnosis and treatment, including whether a patient should be admitted to, or discharged from, the hospital.
When we asked lab outreach industry leader Sonny Varadan for his advice on how outreach laboratories can better share information with the physicians in their communities, he stressed that a data-driven culture needs to be supported by leadership in order to be successful.
Sonny Varadan, MBA, PMP — Director for IT Strategy and Client Connectivity at a major reference laboratory
Having a very strong leader who is supportive of a data-driven culture definitely helps. And how you leverage and use data on a daily basis to run your business. It all starts from the top, and it needs to be evangelized. Because if it doesn’t come from the top, it’s a very futile effort, because it’s very hard to take a bottom-up approach to building a data-driven culture.
“It’s very hard to take a bottom-up approach to building a data-driven culture.”
I’ve seen it in a couple of different organizations I’ve been associated with, and both of those organizations have really leveraged data — brought all their silos and plugged them into a single data repository to provide the information to their front-end managers, supervisors, and, of course, customers — whether it’s turnaround times or top 10 tests ordered, or how the population health is being addressed in terms of an A1C score or an LDL score, to figuring out if sales has dipped over the last six months and what we’re going to do to bring it back up.
So there are several initiatives I can go into, but again, it starts with leadership, and the organizations I’ve been associated with have been lucky enough to have really strong, committed leaders who push for a data-driven culture.
To read more of Sonny’s insights into the future of laboratory outreach, download “Where Do We Go From Here? Laboratory Outreach in a Value-Based Era“.