By Brad Beutler

"We Were There" is a new series in which we break down what we learned from people, places, and thought leaders around the world.

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Laboratory professionals gathered in Birmingham, England the last week of January at Frontiers in Laboratory Medicine (FILM) to network and discuss the future of healthcare in the UK, and around the world. The conference attracted speakers and attendees from not only the UK, but Australia, Canada, the US, Portugal, and Austria as well. FILMs tagline, "Innovate, Engage, Improve" set the stage for two days of education and discussion. There were a few key topics that dominated conversation, including:

  • Utilizing the right test at the right time
  • Access and visibility into big data
  • Quality process improvement

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Andy Brogan of Vanguard Consulting challenged attendees to focus on the purpose of their organization and actions, instead of getting trapped in the day-to-day method. Just because a patient has efficient transitions throughout the care continuum does not necessarily indicate value. As Brogan said, "Changing the score does not change the game."

The number of patients that cycle through your hospital doors is not an accurate representation of the treatment quality. In the UK, the average consultation per patient has risen, indicating that 70% of demand is failure demand. This reiterates the global trend of healthcare organizations needing to move toward a value based model of care from the traditional volume centric method.

Labors.at, a leading reference lab located in Austria, presented their plans for maintaining and improving personalized service for their providers, while simultaneously growing their testing capacity and client base. Consistent with the conference messages, technology will play an integral role in their expansion efforts, and they highlighted the painstaking process of choosing the right technology systems to meet their needs.

The resounding message from the speakers was that healthcare organizations must be able to effectively aggregate and organize disparate data in real-time. In order to achieve personalized service for patients, and provide sustainable value, healthcare organizations need be be able to adequately measure and manage the wealth of information stored in the lab since 80% of healthcare decisions are based on the result of a diagnostic test.

Where should hc1 go next to learn about healthcare trends? Tweet us @hc1_HRM with suggestions!

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