Quest Diagnostics and hc1 Collaborate to Optimize Enterprise-wide Laboratory Testing for Health Systems
SECAUCUS, N.J. and INDIANAPOLIS, Sept. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX), the world's leading provider of diagnostic information services, and hc1, the bioinformatics leader in precision testing, today unveiled Quest® Lab Stewardship™ powered by hc1®, an innovative new service that employs machine learning to harmonize laboratory testing across health systems in order to help optimize laboratory test utilization.*
Quest Lab Stewardship is the result of a strategic collaboration between Quest and hc1 focused on improving costs and clinical impact of lab testing, in- and out- of hospital settings.
"While lab testing is fundamental to delivering cost-effective healthcare, opportunities remain to drive out clinical variation when looking across patient touch points in a health system. Working with hc1, we've created a solution that overcomes several of the traditional barriers to delivering real-time enterprise insights needed to drive and support at-scale optimization of lab testing," said David Freeman, General Manager, Information Ventures, Quest Diagnostics. "We're taking a holistic approach to collaboration with hospitals and health systems, providing a scalable solution and a suite of associated services that will empower them to drive actionable insights that lead to measurable improvements in care, quality and costs."
In recent years, health systems and hospitals have implemented "test utilization" programs to identify patterns in lab ordering trends. However, these programs often require time-consuming manual uploads of data or use platforms that cannot pull from disparate enterprise systems or provide real-time test ordering guidance.
Quest Lab Stewardship is designed to eliminate the limitations common to these programs. It integrates in real-time with enterprise systems and leverages hc1's machine learning capabilities to ingest, organize and normalize lab data, alleviating the time and effort of manual data gathering and analysis. It also provides a framework for lab directors and hospital administrators to consult with medical staff to identify areas of concern and implement compendium updates and order-prompting based on selected clinical guidelines.
Additional features include:
"The hc1 team is passionate about personalizing care delivery to improve outcomes and reduce medical spending," said Brad Bostic, chairman and CEO, hc1. "This strategic collaboration between hc1 and Quest brings an innovative solution to progressive health systems that are committed to improving patient care and bringing down costs. I am thrilled that Quest selected the hc1 Platform to address this critical need for optimized lab testing with their hospital and health system clients."
Advancing lab strategies for hospitals and health systems
The National Academy of Medicine estimates that the healthcare system wastes around $765 billion a year, due to factors such as unnecessary or inefficiently delivered services as well as missed prevention opportunities.[i] Although laboratory testing reflects only about 2-3% of overall health care costs in the United States, ordering lab tests is healthcare's single highest-volume activity.[ii] Under-and over-utilization* of lab tests can adversely affect clinical decisions, such as by prompting unnecessary or delayed procedures to address missed diagnoses.[iii]
"Lab stewardship is about more than lab testing and lowering costs of over testing. It's really about helping health systems to use lab services efficiently to deliver appropriate care while preventing the downstream consequences from unnecessary, costly procedures," said Lee H. Hilborne, MD, MPH, DLM (ASCP), Senior Medical Director, Medical Affairs, Quest Diagnostics and Chair of the American Society for Clinical Pathology's Effective Test Utilization Subcommittee (Choosing Wisely). "We expect the Quest-hc1 solution will improve quality and care across a wide swath of the nation's healthcare system that already refers their advanced diagnostic services to Quest."
Quest Lab Stewardship is an outgrowth of the professional lab management services of Quest Diagnostics, which Quest provides to dozens of health systems and hospitals in the U.S. to help improve their laboratory quality and cost efficiency. Quest also provides reference testing, often involving highly advanced diagnostics services, to about half the hospitals and health systems in the country.
"Quest Lab Stewardship is another way we are helping our customers to maximize the value and utility of their laboratories with technologies and expertise that enhances infrastructure and workflows that hospitals and health systems have already invested in. It's what our clients expect from Quest Diagnostic and we're excited to bring this service to market," said Freeman.
For more information, please visit www.QuestDiagnostics.com/LabStewardship
*Quest's identification of potential appropriate or inappropriate testing, including over- and under-utilization, via its Quest Lab Stewardship offering is intended as a guide to assist providers in identifying ordering patterns recommended by applicable third-party guidelines and is not intended to replace a treating provider's medical judgement, based upon evaluation of the patient.
About Quest Diagnostics
[i] Nelson, Bryn. Healthcare's Main Contributors to Wasteful Spending. The Hospitalist. 2015 June;2015(6) https://www.the-hospitalist.org/hospitalist/article/122351/healthcares-main-contributors-wasteful-spending
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