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Clin Leadersh Manag Rev. 2004 Jul-Aug;18(4):211-5.

A model for consolidation of clinical microbiology laboratory services within a multihospital health-care system.

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1
Department of Pathology, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL, USA.

Abstract

To determine the cost-effectiveness of consolidating clinical microbiology services in a three-hospital health-care network while maintaining high-quality laboratory services, a retrospective review of the total costs of maintaining separate clinical microbiology laboratories within our health-care system was compared to the cost of providing these services after consolidation. Turnaround times before and after consolidation were compared to assess efficiency of the consolidated services. Input of clinicians was also solicited to ensure that quality of services and customer satisfaction remained high. The results of the consolidation project show that the net fiscal saving because of consolidation of clinical microbiology services within our health-care system will be approximately 100,000 dollars per fiscal year. This value includes increased courier charges as well as personnel savings. Although fiscal savings are an integral part of any laboratory consolidation plan, the financial considerations must be balanced by quality of service. The response to consolidation from clinicians was decidedly mixed before implementation of the plan because of fear of increased turnaround times and limited access to laboratory information. The consolidation process, however, was smooth with few physician complaints. The consolidation of our clinical microbiology services illustrates that significant financial savings can be achieved without compromise of efficiency or quality of service.

PMID:
15354810
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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