Hello Mississippi State Society of AMT,
In preparation for National Professional Laboratory Week 2019, I think back over my career as a laboratory professional and the evolution of laboratory testing that I have experienced.
The Laboratory profession is much more than a career working in a clinical laboratory, specimen collection, and performing clinical pathology tests. The laboratory professional holds an important role in medicine working, behind the scenes. Everyone knows that laboratory test influence medical decisions and are important for providing information about health of a patient to aid in diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease.
Yet, not everyone knows how clinical laboratorians add value and contribute to improved outcomes, information resource that enables selection of the right test on the right patients at the right time, with results delivered timely to the right place linked to guidance on agreed action to be taken. The Laboratory professional help clinicians identify the most effective testing protocol and interpret the results accurately and in a timely fashion. Clinical laboratorians can further reduce health care costs by developing new, more precise tests to personalize patient care and creating computerized clinical decision support interventions to aid test selection and interpretation.
Doctors identify an illness then used information and research regarding that condition to treat it. What can we expect from in the future? Expediency, accuracy, transparency related to cost and resulting value toward health outcomes. Laboratories provide value toward outcomes by using real time, data that affect decisions, improve care, increase the workflow, allows provider engagement, which aids the individual patient treatment decisions. (Personalized Medicine) Diagnosing and treating an individual based on what a doctor knows about the patient genetically as well as knowledge of a disease or condition.
The field of laboratory medicine is changing because of advancements in technology, allowing us to see more of a person at the molecular level. Doctors can select a course of treatment for a disease, which will address the specific DNA of an individual. Laboratory professionals of the future will encounter new methods of data recognition and collection to help doctors treat their patients at a more personal level. Although the profession is potentially changing, it is also exciting.
I can only imagine what it will be like to work in the laboratory of the future.
Kathy L. Sutton, MT (AMT)
2019 MSSSAMT SOP/Bylaws (link)
Mississippi State President