Source: The News-Enterprise, Apr 27, 2021
Laboratory professionals who play a vital role in health care and work in the lab setting, including those at Baptist Health Hardin, were celebrated last week as part of National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week.
Laboratory professionals collaborate with the health care team to improve patient care and outcomes.
“We’re a very vital function,” Baptist Health Administrative Director of Laboratory Services C.J. Hayko said.
From small practices in rural towns to metropolitan hospitals, more than 300,000 medical laboratory professionals daily deliver test results and serve as part of the health care team to guide and assess patients’ ongoing treatment and care.
Referring to a statement from the College of American Pathologists, Hayko said, “Laboratory tests are the most cost effective least invasive source of objective information used in clinical decision making and drives 75 percent of clinical decisions from diagnosis through therapy and prognosis.”
Using state-of-the-art technology and instrumentation, Hayko said laboratory professionals perform and supervise tests that lead to the detection of potential health problems. The sooner a disease is caught, the likelihood increases for a positive outcome.
The Carney and Crowe laboratory at Baptist Health Hardin has 91 employees, ranging from pathologists and clinical lab scientists to medical secretaries and transcriptionists, working around the clock to perform critical patient care functions such as collecting specimens, running blood banks, microbiology departments, pathology departments and conducting tests in the core lab that provide essential data to assist our physicians in making a diagnosis and choosing a treatment plan for their patients, Hayko said.
The Carney and Crowe laboratory tested approximately 1.4 million samples and drew blood on more than 125,000 patients during the past year as well as registering more than 75,000 patients. During the pandemic, Hayko said the laboratory team tested 62,000 COVID-19 samples and transfused more than 100 units of convalescent plasma to COVID-positive patients.
Laboratory professionals provide a vital and significant role in health care locally and nationwide, Hayko said.
In recent years, Hayko said it is an industry that has had a significant amount of turnover, noting the hospital had 23 people retire in the last four years.
“We’ve been lucky to be put in the spotlight so we can help promote this field and bring more people into it as there is a critical need,” he said.