Translational health economics—delivering the return on investment for laboratory medicine
The implementation of new technology is known to be a very slow process, and there are recognised translational gaps in this process. The return on investment (ROI) in laboratory medicine is described in the value proposition for a test intervention in a care pathway, which indicates the potential benefits to all of those stakeholders involved in delivering the care pathway when implementing a new test, or as part of a quality improvement initiative. Articulation of the value proposition and ROI from a test result is a key guide to the quality of the health care service provided and it is measured in terms of the impact on clinical outcomes, resource utilisation and process efficiency. Delivery of the ROI, therefore, requires all of the stakeholders (including patient, carer, clinician, provider organisation and purchaser) working as a team. Translational health economics is a translational tool that can be employed in the implementation of new laboratory medicine interventions, that can inform the changes in resource utilisation required to deliver value for money in service transformation.