Clinical diagnostics teams play an important role in providing quality patient care. Such teams are diverse and attract the best of skills and talent; which is needed to ensure the success of the entire medical team. But unlike other medical teams, the clinical diagnostics team does most of their work behind the scenes. With the fast-paced nature of the medical world, it’s usually difficult to put a face behind the names on the laboratory sheets. This blog discusses how clinical diagnostics teams can increase their visibility and why this is important in the first place.

Be Proactive in Seeking Out Connections With Clinicians

Most clinical diagnostic teams are disjointed from medical teams. In other words, what goes on in the laboratory is not directly associated with the patients in the wards or outpatient clinics. Laboratories should not work in silos. Rather, they should work coherently with clinicians for assuring patient safety and eliminating redundant tests. It’s absolutely important for the clinical diagnostics teams to have constant dialogue with clinicians or providers about tests ordered and biospecimens requested for testing, as intimidating as that may appear.

Take for example, the case of a physician requesting for multiple tests that may appear unnecessary or contradictory to laboratory staff. It’s appropriate to engage the physician and seek to understand why those tests are necessary. This may easily translate to a great opportunity for both laboratory staff and medical professionals, bridging the gap between laboratory professionals and physicians. In case a test is ordered on a day when such a test is not usually run, you can use the opportunity to build rapport when explaining why this is the case and offering helpful alternatives. In other words, when opportunities arise, grab them by the horn!

Getting Involved in Patient Care Teams

As a laboratory staff, it may be impractical to get involved in each and every patient case. However, you can always make exceptions for cases that you find to be out of the norm. Besides performing the test that has been ordered, seek to know the symptoms of the patient and the differential diagnosis. Some cases may require a series of tests before a diagnosis is arrived at; while for a few cases, the clinician may not even find an exact diagnosis. Having the clinical diagnostics team on patient care teams will allow them to showcase their expertise and enable clinicians to appreciate the important role played by them. This will also help clinicians understand the procedures and workflows in the laboratory, and this will improve the collaboration between the clinicians and diagnostics teams.

Broadcast Your Efforts and Successes

Clinical teams cannot exist without a competent diagnostics team. Every single patient who walks into a healthcare facility is likely to require a laboratory test or a battery of tests before they can finally have a diagnosis so that treatment can be initiated. Errors may occur at any stage of the testing process – test ordering, sample collection, identification, transport, analysis, interpretation or reporting. Any mistake in the laboratory testing process can result in dire consequences for the patient and the entire medical team. A competent clinical diagnostics team should be able to learn from their mistakes and put measures in place to bring the errors down to negligible. This goes a long way in improving overall patient care and the success of the entire medical team. And when this happens, it is totally appropriate for the team to broadcast their success to their colleagues. This will encourage other teams to appreciate the contribution of the clinical diagnostics team and even increase collaboration opportunities.

Benefits of a Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) for Clinical Diagnostic Labs

A cloud-hosted clinical diagnostics LIMS can increase the efficiency of the laboratory processes and further support real-time collaboration among the different clinical teams. A LIMS’ provider portal enables laboratories to deliver test reports to providers as soon as the results are ready, enabling providers to start treatment regimes for patients. At the end of the day, this will translate to better patient outcomes, making patients the ultimate beneficiary of such efforts.

Increasing the Visibility of Your Clinical Diagnostics Team is a Win-Win

A visible clinical diagnostics team encourages teamwork and collaboration with other departments and even the patient. When clinicians interact and understand the clinical diagnostics team, they will be able to make the most of individual strengths and provide opportunities for growth as well. Having the clinical diagnostics team participate in patient care teams increases the talent pool, provides different perspectives, and reduces decision-making time. Lastly, broadcasting the efforts of the clinical diagnostics team will provide positive incentives and further improve the team’s output. A clinical diagnostics LIMS plays an important role in bridging the gap between labs, providers, and patients through real-time collaboration, resulting in better patient outcomes and better patient care.

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