Diagnostic centres now face an unprecedented demand for their services due to an ageing global population and a greater variety of available diagnostic tests. To meet this demand, centres have turned to value partnerships with technology providers to strengthen their reorganisation and consolidation strategies.
One strategy, consolidating into a hub-and-spoke model, off-loads non-urgent tests to a central laboratory. At the same time, testing for specific conditions and patients remains at the point of care (POC). “Conventional” in vitro diagnostic labs can also transform into full-service diagnostic centres to service a wider geographic area with university hospital-level diagnostics.
Since consolidating these diverse but related services (pathology, genetic, and molecular testing) into a single centre is complicated, many healthcare providers seek technology partnerships in industry to guide laboratory and digital integration. Industry partnerships can help diagnostic centres through strategic planning and implementation. These technology partnerships help centres assess current and future needs, engage stakeholders, and optimise layout designs iteratively. Furthermore, they can leverage the technology partners’ implementation experience to help them adopt new workflows, hardware, and digital technologies.
Capital expenditure from refits or upgrades can diminish financial flexibility, so healthcare executives often seek to shift these expenses to operations. Their strategies can include equipment service agreements with built-in refresh terms or outsourcing responsibility for certain laboratory operations to the technology provider. For advice on managing institutional transformation, they often turn to change management specialists. Operational consultants can further advise on arrangements best suited to their clients’ needs and budgets. Financing solutions may include a flat-fee model for a segment of expenditures to account for dynamic market changes. Cost-per test/result arrangements stipulating a minimum volume are common methods that account for seasonal variations in testing. Fixing the technology partner’s compensation to the performance of a given asset or service is another typical arrangement. These usually include performance-based incentives triggered on reaching specified key performance indicators.
Overall, diagnostic centre laboratories can transform care delivery and expand precision medicine to meet the ever-growing demand for their services by partnering with competent medical technology companies. The real-world case studies below highlight successful partnerships between diagnostic centre laboratories and the technology provider, Siemens Healthineers.
DaVita Labs (Florida, USA) implemented total lab automation and lean workflow methodology to meet its turnaround time goals over 99% of the time.
Ankara City Hospital Bilkent (Ankara, Turkey) became Turkey’s highest-capacity lab (100,000 tests daily) through a public-private partnership with Seimens.
NHS Tayside (Dundee, Scotland) augmented its lab’s input by 246% and workforce productivity by 65% after installing Seimens’ Aptio® Automation.
North Memorial Health (Minnesota, USA) decreased turnaround time for time-critical troponin tests by installing total lab automation.
Labor Blackholm MVZ (Heilbronn, Germany) reduced turnaround time after implementing total lab automation while merging two labs.
Zhongshan People’s Hospital (Zhongshan, China) reduced turnaround time and error rate in thyroid testing by installing laboratory automation.
Source: Siemens Healthcare GmbH