Currently, there is a move in healthcare that would see a range of diagnostic services relocated from hospitals into the urban environment of town and city centres, to facilitate easier patient access. Here, Tony Cambridge focuses on a selection of models proposed for the delivery of in vitro diagnostic testing outside the traditional laboratory and in the community.
Healthcare workers are acutely aware of the challenge ahead. Overrun hospitals, a lack of community options for diagnostic testing, and an under-resourced, under-skilled workforce to drive change. Things are changing, however. With new models of care being discussed and implemented, providing better access to patient diagnostics in more accessible settings, we can be assured that healthcare system executives are listening, especially to well-presented business cases and redesigned pathways that incorporate rapid testing solutions.
It is not just emergency departments that are overwhelmed, the whole healthcare system is. Many are laying blame at the services offered in the community, especially general practitioners. But this is simply untrue, and we need to understand and adjust for the barriers they themselves face in providing optimised care. If you observe the vitriol across social media you will see much frustration and blame laying which must stop. For instance, we must appreciate that these healthcare providers are bound by a number of directives including national guidance on prescribing as well as accessing secondary care for referrals. This narrows the options for a number of conditions where simple diagnostics on hand could provide valuable support for the medical decisions to be made.
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