Competitive Advantage: A Compelling Case for Better Sample Management

Efficiency can provide a competitive advantage in the fiercely competitive laboratory market.
Efficiency can provide a competitive advantage in the fiercely competitive laboratory market.
The laboratory business is, in many ways, a zero-sum competitive game. There are only so many samples provided by so many hospitals, practices and clinics that will be sent out for analysis.

Labs are also businesses, either independently managed or operating as profit centers for larger medical enterprises. With competition keen, it’s crucial that labs identify, implement, and keep any competitive advantages they have in the marketplace.

Efficiency fuels profit
One area where labs are seeing improved opportunities to differentiate is in sample management. The ability to manage the flow of samples through the lab at peak efficiency, while keeping costs low is one way to improve a lab’s reputation and boost its bottom line.

A 2015 study published in the Journal of Medical Laboratory and Diagnosis found that many labs are not focused on implementing the procedures that would create efficient workplaces. The researchers conducted audits of quality system implementations at small-, medium- and large-sized labs.

A recent study found labs of all sizes lacking in quality management.
The results illustrated both the problems and the opportunities apparent in a wide range of labs. The researchers reported that quality systems consistently were not implemented properly. Problems existed throughout lab management, including:

  • Poor personnel training. Training on procedures, sample handling, documentation and waste management is lacking in many cases.
  • Lack of quality assurance. Quality assurance is not practiced well, according to the study. Labs lack adequate quality assurance personnel, quality control records are inadequate, and there is a lack of performance assessment.
  • Good service is critical. In recent decades, competitiveness has driven a focus on better customer service. The study’s authors suggest that labs focus on measuring performance and client or customer satisfaction.
  • Standard quality measures necessary. Real-time training and standardized measures of quality should be implemented across the profession in order to ensure consistent evaluation and accreditation. “The laboratory is providing the information for the diagnosis, prevention, or treatment of any disease to assess the health of, human beings.” The report states, “Therefore, implementation of a quality system is one of the essential requirements in order to maintain quality standards in the performance of all activities from sample collection to release of reports.”
The importance of lab management software
The proper lab management software can make a compelling case for better sample management. The right software package can improve sample management at each stage of the lab process. Creating and automating robust procedures can enhance patient safety, accelerate sample intake, sample processing, and sample storage, leading to faster turnaround times, improved accuracy, and the competitive advantage necessary to operate successfully.

At Freezerworks, we specialize in lab management systems that track and store samples in labs of any size. Our systems improve workflow management of samples throughout the lab; reduce costs through an embedded billing module; provide flexibility in label formats and customizable input screens; and create automated audit trails. Our systems allow labs to easily import data, conduct simple and complex searches, and access user-defined fields to make data entry easier and more accurate.

Request a demo to see how Freezerworks can give your lab the competitive advantage it deserves.