Introduction: Reference laboratory testing can represent a significant component of the laboratory budget. Therefore, most laboratories continually reassess the feasibility of in-sourcing various tests. We describe the transfer of urine drug testing performed for monitoring medication compliance in pain management from a reference laboratory into an academic clinical laboratory.
Methods: The process of implementing of both screening immunoassays and confirmatory LC-MS/MS testing and the associated cost savings is outlined.
Results: The initial proposal for in-sourcing this testing, which included the tests to be in-sourced, resources required, estimated cost savings and timeline for implementation, was approved in January 2009. All proposed testing was implemented by March 2011.
Conclusions: Keys to the successful implementation included budgeting adequate resources and developing a realistic timeline, incorporating the changes with the highest budget impact first. We were able to in-source testing in 27 months and save the laboratory approximately $1 million in the first 3 year.
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