Sunday, 28 February 2016

Pathology labs need better understanding.... Perception Versus Reality...

Pathology labs are a distinct part of healthcare fabric. Their role, is often central to information on wellness and disease diagnosis or management. Over years, practice of pathology and utilisation of its services has seen considerable change, largely owing to advances in technology and better understanding of basic health science.

Over two decades of serving patients from a standalone laboratory in a busy cosmopolitan city in India, I get a ring side view of perception of people both inside and outside a medical lab. Sometimes, I get the feeling there is a disconnect between the two, though it may only be my personal view.

Inside the lab, staff handle technology and human samples in the same breath, not realising the different nature of each of them. Outside of the lab there is always a doubt in the mind of patients on the results received. Both these views need to change and it is necessary to happen at the earliest. There is no doubt that patients have come to suspect lab results as they have experienced errors in service, giving them an exaggerated "feel" of errors. Patients who have experienced an error in lab result would continue to suspect every result that is provided by a diligent lab or any other lab.

Question then is "Shouldn't labs do something about it" ? 
This question is common to both sides of this mind created distinct entities of "Labs" and "Patients". When we are open to hear and see the view points of people using lab services and those providing lab services, our horizon widens.

With the above in mind, I invite views from human beings (that is what we are first...!) in the labs as well as those using services of labs.

Dr. Sujay Prasad
Anand Diagnostic Laboratory
Bangalore

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