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At the end of the day, it’s all about the patient: can we speed the time to effective treatment? Can we care for them locally or do we need to refer them out of the community? And how does an individual hospital choose the microbiology services they offer to assure their community of its commitment to a high standard of care?
When it comes to microbiology and the patient, there’s a lot to consider, including the range of personnel, services and facilities available in the hospital. All of these have an impact of whether patient care is delivered locally or sent to specialty centers with the knowledge, experience, skills and specific facilities to best manage the patient.
There are numerous ways to identify and understand these questions, including the facility’s own patient records for disease incidence, consultation with the state department of health, and access to experts in the field at hospitals patients are referred to and industry sources such as manufacturers and distributors as well as internal discussion.
There are many dynamics to consider in microbiology testing: what the facility has done in the past, what the medical staff and community expect, what the facility is prepared to offer or to invest to offer and the view of the future. Considering staffing and investment at a broader community level (Who in the community can help with planning and decision making? Can we attract more patients? Can we recruit qualified staff more broadly? What will we need a few years from now?) takes more time and energy but is more likely to uncover resources that would otherwise be missed and provide solutions that otherwise might not have been obvious.
While emerging pathogens, antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria and choices of technologies, staffing and other investments are challenges, microbiology is undergoing a revolution that will improve diagnostic and treatment time, options and quality across a far broader cross-section of patients than would have been possible as recently as ten years ago.
Ultimately, these considerations should be weighted at each healthcare facility to understand where to focus time and energy. Keep better outcomes at the top of mind and use the microbiology lab as a weight to positively affect patient satisfaction and outcomes.
Get an overview of microbiology, including terminology, types of testing and testing methods.
Learn about common microbiology staffing challenges in the community hospital.
Learn how improving your microbiology testing turnaround times can impact your community hospital.
Our Laboratory Implementation Team helps with initial lab setup and implementation, ensuring you have enough space for lab equipment, verifying hazard protocols, validating and testing equipment and more. This team can help set up single pieces of lab equipment or help build an entire new lab. Email us today to get started.