What Is Laboratory Analytics?
Laboratory analytics is a broad term used to describe how laboratories use their data to make decisions and implement improvements in workflow and patient care. Laboratory results are vitally important in providing the information clinicians need to diagnose and treat patients. Because the laboratory holds such a large volume of patient data, that information can be further analyzed for internal laboratory insights and external metrics that affect the entire organization.
Read more about the value of laboratory analytics in our white paper, The Incredible Value of Laboratory Data & Analytics.
Lab Data for Patient Care
Laboratory testing provides tremendous value to our healthcare system—for public health, diagnosis, treatment, chronic disease management, personalized medicine, preventive medicine, and much more. Providers use laboratory test results for screening, diagnosis, and disease monitoring. Two thirds of test results contribute to a change in diagnosis, therapy, prognosis, or the understanding of disease.1
Analyzing Data for Internal Lab KPIs
Laboratories can use their data to track internal key performance indicators (KPIs) and test utilization as part of a larger laboratory stewardship program that promotes laboratory productivity and increases the laboratory’s contribution to the best patient care. Laboratory data can be mined and analyzed to gain efficiencies in test turnaround time (TAT), test utilization, inspection preparedness, and staffing, culminating in comprehensive laboratory stewardship and improved staffing decisions.
Combining Data for Business-wide Insights
Combining lab data and other healthcare data for analysis can uncover valuable information and provide insights that can help guide a healthcare organization’s business decisions and have a positive impact on patient care and finances. Laboratory data with pharmacy or imaging data, for example, can be used to guide organization-wide decisions in matters of patient care and spending.
With the knowledge that early diagnosis and intervention reduces overall healthcare costs, laboratory diagnostics also plays a key role in population health management and the screening of healthy patients.
Analysis of Lab Data Overview
In addition to the overall value of laboratory testing to patient care, laboratories amass significant data sets that can be analyzed to establish key insights, both internally and organization-wide, that can guide business decisions and uncover opportunities for cost savings.
- Wertman BG, et. al. Why do physicians order laboratory tests? A study of laboratory test request and use patterns. JAMA. 1980;243(20):2080–2082. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03300460054033.