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Lab Leads with Team-Based Vision

Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, March 16, 2012

Fast, accurate decisions lead to better outcomes
Critical to Quinter's decision-making was the big picture: getting patients treated appropriately, and quickly, so their stay is shorter, less expensive, and less traumatic.

Speaking of expenses, ROI for the testing system in the first year of use, 2011, yielded $3.7 million in terms of hospital savings directly tied to reducing patient infection rates, decreasing the days patients need to be kept in isolation, and prescribing fewer antibiotics.

Kettering's financial expectations for the new testing regime had been low—about $225,000 the first year. In addition to the financial piece, Kettering saved about 2,000 isolation days and prescribed fewer—and Quinter would say more accurately targeted—antibiotics.

Critically, the decision to use the new test was left largely to Quinter, a 30-year veteran of the lab, and to a broad patient care team. Quinter says the effect on patient care was dramatic, which is what ultimately sold them on the testing procedure.

However, financial success of the technology was also important, says Quinter.

"We all have the responsibility to drive financial integrity in our organization," she says. "We can't look outside the lab and say that's someone else's problem because we all have to understand that we need to deliver care in a fiscally responsible way."

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