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How Reference Labs Leverage Workpath Technology to Grow Their Business, Revamp Logistics, and Improve Outcomes

Published 2018-10-16

The engine of medical analysis, blood diagnostics are essential to the entire healthcare system. In the US, healthcare experts estimate that blood is drawn 3.9 million times per day and that approximately 70% of all healthcare decisions start with blood testing.

To make this possible, national, regional, and local reference laboratories have established a footprint in their relative neighborhoods by building deep relationships with healthcare organizations and physicians. Although quality and turnaround time is unmatched amongst competitors, reference laboratories continue to face pressure from esoteric laboratories and other laboratories to provide an ever-growing list of ancillary services, quality testing, and great patient experiences.

Physicians and patients increasingly expect perfection from their healthcare partners, as they should. Today, lost specimens, patient noncompliance, or inconclusive results are unacceptable outcomes. 

Despite the major role of blood diagnostics, one in three draws ordered are never completed for a variety of reasons -- the healthcare system is complicated, there's a lack of access points for blood draws, and appointments are never convenient. As a result, patients are often late, get lost, forget, or just don’t show up for important blood work.

Making matters worse, the process for ensuring patients don't miss a blood draw is broken, and the old-school paper and trust model is outdated. Due to this flawed process, the best science in the world by laboratories processing blood samples is ultimately prevented. When this happens, the opportunity to help predict and avert disease isn’t given a fighting chance. In these cases, the system fails the physician ordering the test, the phlebotomist drawing blood for the test, the lab receiving and testing the blood, and most important – the patient. 

But this doesn’t have to be the case. The process for keeping patients engaged, ensuring blood draws take place, and guaranteeing that blood samples are successfully collected can be significantly improved with the implementation of Workpath’s technology. Today, Workpath is connecting the disconnected, closing gaps in care, and automating a once cumbersome system.  

Make Ordering Easy. Automate Communication. Drive Up Compliance.

Each blood draw that a physician orders is important to the health and well being of a patient. Not only does it benefit the patient to comply with their blood draw, but it also provides revenue to the bottom line of reference laboratories. Unfortunately, patients just don’t show up for blood draws. It happens all too frequently. For every patient that chooses not to come to the lab, the lab loses money. On average, 3 out of every 10 patients fail to comply with physician lab orders.

Workpath’s HIPAA compliant system, however, allows laboratories to streamline physician ordering to ensure a patient is never lost. Using Workpath, laboratories can systemically capture every physician order, provide an easy means to schedule, and send automated reminder messaging to the patients to raise compliance. As soon as an order is place, laboratories receive live updates and alerts to ensure everything goes as scheduled from start to finish.

Technology like Workpath is driving compliance numbers up across the laboratory industry and providing the top laboratories in the country the ability to capture all of the revenue that is available to them. On average, Workpath’s partners report that these features have helped raise their laboratory's compliance rates for blood draw appointments to 98.2%.

Keep Your Team Fresh and Never Understaffed

Reference laboratories benefit from having great brick and mortar presences. With exception to historical trends, reference laboratories often struggle to anticipate high volumes and peak time rushes for blood draws. By levering Workpath, reference laboratories are given a heads up about patients coming their way, making it possible to easily augment staff, temporarily place labor in high volume sites, and backfill last-minute staff no-shows.

Many of Workpath's reference laboratory partners offer multiple service lines (blood draws, courier services, wellness screenings, etc.) in multiple locations in a geographic area (physician offices, skilled nursing facilities, and urgent care). Workpath provides a tool for laboratories to manage all of their labor as well as the scheduled specimen pickups, appointments, and shift requests in the same location. By pooling their labor force in a central location, Workpath makes it simple for lab managers to allocate staff, maximize their availability, and ensure a quality customer experience no matter where their services are performed. Through automation, laboratories can customize their labor hierarchy to ensure the best fit from their team is servicing each appointment.

This is important because studies show that 66% of laboratory managers do not have an automated system in place to manage their labor and day-to-day work opportunities. Instead, they are forced to contend with a patchwork system of phone calls, email, and text messaging when attempting to cover a last-minute cancelled shift. With one click, in Workpath’s platform, laboratories can instead communicate instantly with their entire team and easily fill appointments and shifts by the proper team member.

Workpath’s reference laboratory partners report that they no longer rely on the aforementioned manual and outdated methods to manage their phlebotomy labor, couriers, vendors, and third-party networks. Reference laboratory partners using Workpath to organize their labor have eliminated spreadsheets, reduced email communication by 65% and phone calls by 40%, allowing them to streamline communication and focus on continued quality. Leveraging the Workpath platform, the laboratories are ensuring that they never lose transparency into their biggest revenue driver – specimens. Ultimately, the Workpath platform provides laboratory managers the ability to see where their labor is at any given time, which services they are performing, and what’s next on their schedule.

Expand Your Customer Base

With Workpath, laboratories around the US are expanding their presence by offering more flexible options – including placing phlebotomists, mobile phlebotomy, or one-time visits to alternate locations for blood draws. Without increasing labor costs, reference laboratories are coordinating and dispatching their specialists to perform draws and other collections in a smarter and more efficient way. Workpath allows labor to perform services outside of the brick and mortar location with step-by-step instructions, navigation, and shipping or return instructions.

For more information, visit www.workpath.co for a free demo and to discuss how technology can be used to improve a reference lab's efficiency, growth, compliance, and outcomes.