Large sets of clinical data, including lab data, provide major opportunities for health systems to analyze metrics and locate broad trends, zeroing in on ways to improve the management of key populations and keep their costs down. This is crucial when it comes to reducing the burden of chronic illnesses, which cost the U.S. healthcare system $1.1 trillion in 2016.
For example, the cost of lifetime care for a non-compliant patient with diabetes can run upwards of $80,000, compared to just $1,684 for a patient receiving regular diagnostic testing. Data-driven care afforded by hospital laboratories allows health systems to monitor wellness and mitigate risks, identifying costly care indicators before they turn into bigger issues.
Lab data helps hospitals intervene sooner with their patient populations, Berlin said, and these intervening steps enable hospitals to “focus more on wellness or managing a disease, as opposed to having to treat a patient once an event has happened." This approach is more convenient for both the patient and hospital, improving not just the bottom line but also the patient experience. In an era of consumer-driven healthcare and hospital star ratings, improving the patient experience can help enhance the public perception of a health system.