Why Physicians Need Improved Understanding of Lab Techniques

There are few fields where collaboration could benefit more than medical practice and laboratory testing. Our goal is to expand the relationship between technicians and physicians.

Though healthcare professionals are well versed in understanding laboratory results and their implications, there are limitations to their knowledge. By no fault of their own, the techniques and strategies lab technicians use to convert samples to test results seem to be a covert language. The methods employed, the reagents used, and the chemistry behind diagnostic testing is not a significant part of medical education. Rather, lab technicians are immersed in a field of in-depth, hands-on science studying the microscopic world of our blood and our DNA – an essential component physicians use to optimize medical care.

‘Behind the curtain’ or ‘in the dungeon’ are common euphemisms frequent to the world of laboratory science.

And though the scientists studying and analyzing patient results may be more removed from the clinical care of patients, their job is just as important.

However, time and time again these two worlds are kept separate from each other. Scientific advancement often gets lost in translation because the two systems experience so little crossover. Imagine two worlds where individuals rarely cross paths – not because the bridge isn’t open, but because the two lands speak a different language.

Whether using innovative PCR methods (as we do at Integrity Laboratories) or offering more traditional methods through cell culture – a basic understanding of these experiments can alleviate miscommunication. In some cases, they may even resolve confusion and errors, not to mention establish a stronger clinical experience for patients.

Bridging this gap could be monumentally beneficial to both sides, assuming they find ways to better communicate. Thus, at Integrity Laboratories, we propose a novel idea:

Let us increase and improve collaboration between these two sides. Let us strengthen ties and improve the understanding of diagnostic procedures among physicians and medical staff.

This does not imply the time consuming and expensive process of retraining staff – but by offering opportunities for hospital teams to learn the basic premise of how test results are analyzed. Through shadowing or through discussion, allow medical teams access to learning materials. Let them ask questions about basic laboratory procedures. Open the table to better understanding and reduce the instances of back-door misinterpretations by creating a more inclusive environment.

Every industry has its own language or jargon. Simply by increasing the awareness of laboratory practices, we can create stronger divergent and critical thinkers within medical systems. With these skills, physicians have the newfound potential to strategize innovative testing options and improve their patient experience.

Behind the scenes in the lab or on the floor among patients – both teams retain the same goal: to provide patients the best care possible with the most educated professionals to lead them on their path toward wellness.

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