What factors to consider before starting Diagnostic Laboratory Services

Starting anything new, whether it’s a new job or a lab, is not only stressful and time-consuming but exciting as well, and opening a diagnostic laboratory center or services can bring out all of these emotions from you. Starting a diagnostic laboratory service is not a walk in the park, it comes with many deliberations, decisions, and paperwork. 

Diagnostic laboratory services are very important for the health sector of any country and play a major role in human health maintenance because, if the services were in existence, it would be impossible to detect and accurately diagnose the health conditions of people.

Over time, the technology, procedures, and techniques used in diagnostic laboratory services have greatly improved. That is why it is important to move with the time you decide to start up a diagnostic laboratory and services. These factors are what we will be discussing in this article.

  • What Is Diagnostic Laboratory Services 

Diagnostic laboratory services deal with providing professional medical information for accurate and proper diagnoses which involves tests being run on cell samples, body scans, fluid samples, blood, stool, and pee tests. This involves the employment of well-trained technicians who are in the know of the procedures done in order to render such services.

  • Common Diagnostic Services and tests done in a Laboratory 
  1. Basic Metabolic panel: This is a common and one of the tests where diagnostic laboratory services are  done. This has to do with the measuring  of the levels of potassium, sodium, glucose and others in your body. It gives accurate analysis of the sugar or blood levels in your body. 
  2. Complete Blood count: Popularly known as CBC is a test that involves analyzing  human blood just like the name implies. This is the measuring of the kind and amount of cells that are in the blood. It helps to give information on the nutrients and disorders that are in your body.
  3. Cultures: This is also a very common service offered by many diagnostic laboratories across the world. This is used to test for treatment and diagnosis of various infections in your body that have been caused by bacteria, which includes MRSA, urinary tract infections, strep throat, and pneumonia. If you go to a doctor’s appointment, and you are asked to do a swab, that is because he suspects that you have been infected by a bacteria.
  4. Urinalysis: This involves the testing of the urine to check if there are early signs of any disease. This test is used to check and monitor diabetes or kidney.
  5. Comprehensive Metabolic Panel: This is done only after the test of metabolic panels has been carried out, where they test some particular which  usually has them performing comprehensive metabolic panels  six more times. This test comes about after some irregularities in the body have been detected with the intention of getting to the root and cause of the problem.
  • Factors to consider before starting Diagnostic Laboratory Services 
  1. Planning: This is one of the first things to do when starting a new diagnostic laboratory service. The organization of its notebook, workflow, inventory and result analysis should be one of the first factors you should consider. You know to know what paperwork to file, what license to get and the overall structure of the lab. It is necessary to set up a system that is suitable for the type of lab you are about to start.
  2. Lab Capacity: The lab capacity and space depends on the level of equipment, supplies, workforce and designs you want in the lab. It also depends on whether you are using a building or building a new lab from the ground up. Either way, you have to consider the proximity of the land and try to use it to the maximum.
  3. Safety: Before starting up your diagnostic laboratory services, don’t forget to check for any safety and hazard issues that could be detrimental to your lab and can cause harm to both patients and employees alike. It’s better to avoid any accident by checking than to have to stop work being done because of one’s inability to tackle such problems from the get-go. Include plans to give your staff safety training and make available the necessary first kit and safety equipment like fire blankets, emergency showers and fire extinguishers.
  4. Apparatus:  This is no doubt one of the most of not the most important factors to look out for. What is a diagnostic lab without equipment to render services? It is important that you get all the required equipment when opening a diagnostic laboratory. Do so according to a specific need as you cover  many areas that need equipment, especially the essential ones such as the 
  5. Blood gas analyser: This equipment is used to check the level of acid in your blood, especially for individuals having diabetes, kidney failure, drug overdose and severe sleep problems.
  6. Cell culture: These equipment used to check blood cell count and profile blood according to its groups. They also check and count red cells, platelets and leukocytes in your blood while also being used in checking the levels of hematocrit and hemoglobin in your blood. The equipment used here is a camera microscope, incubators, cell counter, cell freezing container, centrifuges, and many others.
  7. Molecular Biology and Biochemistry: This includes tools such as plate reader, power supply, tissue homogenizer, SDS-PAGE minipreps, agarose gel apparatus, Nanodrop,  DNA/RNA gel imager among others.
  8. Basic equipment: Basic things needed in the lab like scissors, pipettes, Bunsen burner, stir bars, tubes, cylinders, tapes, strings, gloves etc.
  9. Accessibility and Availability: You need to make sure your own lab and services are easy to access and people who use it can also access their results easily without too much stress or obstacles. People using your services should be able to communicate with you at any time within your work hours. They should be able to ask questions about their results or tests and should be communicated  on time when they book an appointment, collect their results and a detailed explanation of how the test procedures work. Also, map out time for your office hours, pick the time you want your services to be available.

Shahid Raza

Shahid Raza has been writing for magazines and newspapers since 2010, and editing and managing websites.