Insights from Innovators:

Feb. 23, 2022
Laboratory outreach, molecular diagnostics, and automation

After tabulating the results from the 2022 Salary Survey, further clarification was needed to cull the results from some supplemental questions, added only a couple of years ago.

The answers to these questions will provide additional information for our readers, concerning these specific areas:

Laboratory Outreach

1. Which of the following have been a focus of your laboratory’s outreach efforts?

Survey takers responded to the question, “Which have been the focus of your laboratory’s outreach efforts?” with the following results, illustrating the priority given to physician practices (58%), over other areas:

  • Physician practices: 58%
  • Nursing homes: 43.2%
  • Community members: 37%
  • Home care: 26.7%
  • Other laboratories: 21%
  • None - no outreach efforts: 19.8%
  • Minimal outreach efforts: 11.5%
  • Other: 2.1%

Molecular Diagnostics

2. Which areas of your lab have embraced molecular diagnostics?

Surveyed lab personnel were asked to report on which areas of their labs have embraced molecular diagnostics in 2022:

  • Most areas, including microbiology, showed a slight decrease in results, with that area showing results at 77%, down from 80.4% in 2021.
  • Chemistry was also down, for 2022 (12.3%), compared with 14.1% in 2021.
  • Hematology showed a minor decrease from 2021 (6.4%), as well, with a 2022 result of 4.5%.
  • The area where 2022 results showed improvement, from 2021, was blood banks, at 4.5% (up from 2.9%in 2021).


3. Did your lab automate or further automate new procedures in 2021?

When questioned, those surveyed reported that their labs automated, or further automated new procedures during the previous year, 50.2% said “yes,” compared to the 2021 survey (50.6%).

Impact of COVIOD-19 on laboratories in 2022

4. How was your lab department affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?

Laboratorians answered the question relating to how their lab department was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2022:

  • As expected, the highest area affected by COVID-19 was increased testing, at 67.9%.
  • Also anticipated, was the area involving reorganizing and evaluating supply usage and storage, which was reported at 53.9%.
  • Reassigning lab employees to other areas was conveyed at 36.6%.
  • Reviewed test and utilization costs and reimbursement levels were 28.8%.
  • Furloughed lab employees were at 25.9%, and
  • Updated processing policies were identified at 25.1%.

The two areas with the lowest percentages were focusing on certifications (2.9%) and 0% reported for closing the department.

Gail Castanho

Managing Editor, MLO