Clinical laboratory tests have an immeasurable impact on diagnostic and treatment decisions made by health care providers. At a time when evidence-based laboratory medicine (EBLM) is increasingly used by health care professionals, the information provided by clinical lab tests is helping to diagnose, treat, and monitor patients as accurately and quickly as possible.
Clinical laboratory tests save time, costs, and lives by enabling early detection and prevention of disease. More than 7 billion clinical lab tests are performed in the U.S. each year, providing critical data for a relatively small expenditure.
Patients with cancer, heart disease, HIV, and other conditions are living longer and enjoying better health because of a medical revolution called personalized medicine. At its center are genetic and genomic tests that identify the unique genetic profile of individual patients or their disease and allow physicians to tailor treatment to those unique characteristics.
The result is earlier diagnosis and treatment, better prevention, and better targeted therapy with fewer side effects. Using the guidance from genetic tests, physicians can prescribe the right drug, at the right time, at the right dose.
America’s clinical labs support hundreds of thousands of employees, with a talent pool comprised of pathologists, biochemists, medical laboratory scientists, phlebotomists, pathologists’ assistants, and other highly skilled medical staff. With 80% of the nation’s 322,488 clinical laboratories operating as small businesses, the sector is a significant contributor to local jobs and economies.