The add value of laboratory diagnostics: the many reasons why decision-makers should actually care

Giuseppe Lippi, Mario Plebani


The role and responsibilities of laboratory professionals are impressively changing. Clinical and technical background is no longer sufficient, since laboratory activity is now increasingly committed to manage organizational, administrative and economic concerns. Although the relationship between costs, revenues and profits is indeed straightforward for public laboratories, with much larger profitability than many other industries, laboratory professionals are still struggling to survive. While most public hospitals are besieged to reach the break-even and stay afloat, public laboratories only receive a fraction of what they bill, but are largely contributing to generate economic revenues that will ultimately contribute to offset the hospital losses. Whatever profitability analyst would hence see as quite masochistic to kill the golden goose. In this dissertation, we are hence aiming to provide some useful elements to convince decision-makers that laboratory medicine is not a deadwood, but is probably the key for a patient-centered and sustainable future of health care.