Introduction: The Shared Resource Laboratory (SRL) model recently described for research activities would also appear to be highly suitable for diagnostic services. Using modern SRL design criteria and benchmarks, the aim of our study was to verify whether the consolidation of a diagnostic cytofluorimetric activity could improve the overall service.
Methods: Outcome indicators such as impact on analytical quality, clinical satisfaction, team work involvement, and economic performance were evaluated in the planning and setting up of a new central laboratory. Comparison with preconsolidation status allowed us to investigate possible indicators of improvement.
Results: A total of 30 140 cytofluorimetric analyses performed before and after consolidation at the Central Laboratory in Pievesestina in north-central Italy were evaluated. The overall score of the clinical satisfaction questionnaire (range, between 1 and 5) increased from 4.3 to 4.9. Full-time equivalent (FTE) operators were reduced from 9 to 4.5 and cytofluorimeters from 6 to 2; economic indicator analyses showed a 17.75% reduction in unitary test costs.
Conclusions: The adoption of new benchmarks and design criteria increased the quality of cytofluorimetric analysis, thus improving specialized diagnostic services and promoting the shared resource clinical laboratory.
© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.