Laboratory outreach management programs have become increasingly important to hospitals as the US healthcare system undergoes monumental changes in its reimbursement and regulatory landscape. To stay competitive in this environment, pathology laboratories must deliver a higher level of customer service, share critical lab information with their customers, and respond quickly to changes within their practice patterns. Outreach laboratory services can maximize hospital revenue, as well as strengthen the relationship between the hospital and its physician community.
What is a laboratory outreach business?
Hospital and health system laboratories can provide value to healthcare providers and patients by offering outpatient laboratory testing services. This is called laboratory outreach. Laboratory outreach businesses strive to make lab testing more accessible for providers, physicians, and patients by providing convenient locations for patients to get their tests done, commonly referred to as patient service centers (PSCs). The hospital or health system’s main laboratory or laboratories typically support the outreach business.
The role of analytics in laboratory outreach
Many laboratories have outreach programs with strict service level agreements (SLAs) and service level expectations (SLEs), but may lack the tools needed to actively monitor each service requirement. These requirements are often not satisfied due to the manual and cumbersome processes associated with obtaining the necessary data to monitor outreach efforts. Advanced analytics solutions enable laboratories to quickly identify outliers in turnaround time (TAT) and other quality metrics in the laboratory, as well as drill down into the root causes of those outliers. Due to these critical insights, laboratories are able to respond to and resolve issues immediately, even before customers identify the issue.
Analytics tools also enable laboratories to quickly extract, analyze, and share information such as customer ordering patterns, volumes and population health analyses. Laboratories can not only provide tremendous insight to customers on their lab testing, but also where there are opportunities for better patient care. Through sharing insightful information, laboratories are able to deepen relationships with their customers and grow the business.
Ensuring laboratory outreach success
It’s not easy to build, maintain and grow a successful outreach program. However, having the right solutions in place enables laboratories to be successful in this initiative.
To learn more, download our comprehensive guide: Strategic Planning for Laboratories.