One Way to Move Healthcare Closer to Home
By Sharlene Blum | Senior Vice President of Operations, True Health Outreach
Healthy communities depend on hospitals — when hospitals thrive, they improve everyone’s access to acute and emergency care. Progressive hospitals deliver wellness and the potential for longer and healthier lives, right in their own communities.
But this takes a major effort, and a continuous one. The standards of care in a high-functioning hospital require constant attention to dozens of critical functions. Without access to specialized technology and highly trained personnel, hospitals can’t do what they need to do. And the communities around them suffer.
One of these critical functions is diagnostic laboratory services — evaluating patient blood and other samples for signals of disease and illness. Laboratory results are a critical part of a quality clinical evaluation; 70 percent of clinical treatment decisions are made, in part, on the basis of diagnostic information. But like everything else in medicine, diagnostic testing is more complex than it used to be, and a lab has to be able to constantly improve.
Ten years ago, a typical hospital lab could get by with standard equipment; but today’s diagnostics require sophisticated immunochemistry instruments, high-tech computer programming, specially trained laboratory technologists and expertise in the newest quality standards — to name but a few of the elements of state-of-the-art labs. These qualities are essential to identify the various biomarkers now capable of helping clinicians detect cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and other disease states in patients long before conventional testing would allow.
The problem is, hospitals often can’t maintain the level of expertise needed to keep pace in this scientific race. Instead, hospitals either get by with what they have or, in a step that could delay a potential diagnosis, refer patients to faraway laboratories.
This is where my company enters the picture. True Health Outreach, an affiliate of True Health Diagnostics, works with hospital laboratories to improve and expand their offering. Our team works side-by-side with the current staff, to help them better utilize the highest quality instruments and technical expertise. When necessary, they can tap into our advanced menu of specialized testing.
In business terms, the hospital is not so much outsourcing as it is “insourcing.” By bringing us in, a hospital is bringing modern, sophisticated diagnostics back into its community, keeping its investment in house, becoming stronger scientifically and improving the experience of its patients.
Hospitals are trusted and valued because they offer a central place for all forms of care and healing. It’s more efficient and it’s better for the patient. And with more medical practices coming into the fold of hospital systems, the value of a cutting-edge hospital-based diagnostic lab is only increasing.
Patients at-risk for developing metabolic conditions, prediabetes, lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other disease states are turning to these hospital laboratories for valuable information about their health. These hospitals, and their doctors, can now chart a course for better care and wellness.
All the while, the patient stays “home” in his or her own community.