Solution: Goals of increasing efficiency have led many hospital systems to explore new forms of organization. Hospital lab consolidation is one opportunity due to the lab’s high regulatory burden as well as shortages of qualified staff. Consolidated labs with economies of scale may have a better chance at remaining profitable, as broad changes in healthcare have a profound impact on lab operations. Additionally, as health systems grow, standardization becomes necessary to cope with complexity, and consolidations can improve standardization. Systems may need external expertise to assess as well as implement a consolidation of either labs or lab departments.
Benefit: Accumen can evaluate both full and partial consolidation models based on several factors – geography, test menu, volumes, labor, couriers, equipment, space requirements, IT or connectivity needs, quality and service expectations, and other provider expectations. Accumen’s unique Consolidation Modeling Tool, based on volumes and cycle times, calculates what additional staffing would be needed under consolidation, or if volumes can be absorbed by current staff. The Cost Savings Analysis calculates how much would be saved under consolidation compared to the current state. Upon client decision to move forward, together Accumen’s Testing Consolidation Checklist is used to identify and execute steps for implementation.
Solution: The laboratory’s test menu is the comprehensive list of tests that it performs, including blood, urine, microbiology, molecular, and others. Test menu should vary based on the type of lab and the services the organization offers to patients. Often, labs may be performing tests that would be better sent to a sister facility within the system or an outside reference lab for economies of scale. On the other hand, sometimes tests could be brought in-house to improve turnaround time or cost. A test menu assessment should evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the lab’s test menu.
Benefit: Accumen can ensure that the lab is providing the most clinically relevant and cost-effective testing for providers and patients. This involves reviewing current menus to identify any gaps or redundancies and may also include evaluating the reliability of testing methods. New or emerging technologies that enhance the performance of the lab may also be considered. The overall goal of the test menu assessment and potential consolidation or insourcing is to ensure the provision of high-quality testing that meets the needs of providers and patients. By assessing and updating test menus regularly, labs can ensure they continue to meet evolving needs.