Is Your Lab Still Making Buggy Whips?

OUR FIFTH ANNUAL Executive War College on Lab and Pathology Management is just around the corner. In just a few days, on May 16-17, 400 laboratory executives, administrators and pathologists will gather in New Orleans to learn the latest innovations in the management and operation of laboratories.

That makes it timely for this crusty curmudgeon to contribute his 2¢ on the immediate future for the laboratory industry. With the healthcare industry undergoing wrenching and painful change, it is becoming increasingly important for senior lab and pathology leaders to correctly identify, and act upon, the major trends reshaping laboratory medicine as we know it today.

At THE DARK REPORT, we are watching several major trends play out in the marketplace. All of them point to a positive future for laboratory medicine and pathology. Testing, whether for the purposes of diagnosis, prognosis, or patient monitoring, will become ever more essential to every nation’s healthcare system.

But this coming renaissance in laboratory medicine requires new thinking by laboratory practitioners. Think of what Galileo and Copernicus had to struggle against with their “new” concepts about the Universe. Time has proved them to be more right than wrong. But during their life times, the new knowledge offered by these scientists was resisted, forcibly, by people who couldn’t let go of the status quo.

Which brings me to my 2¢. Remember buggy whip manufacturers? This is the classic business school example of business thinkers who failed to adjust to the automobile. As a result, they went bankrupt. So I have a question for you—and your management team!

How many “buggy whip manufacturers” guide strategic planning at your laboratory? How many of your key management leaders are opposing the “Galileos” and “Copernicuses” in your lab, those far-sighted individuals who have the right answers today for your lab’s strategic direction, but are pummeled mercilessly in meetings by those married to the status quo?

If my description comes uncomfortably close to the truth, then you now have the insight and recognition to change a problem before it becomes one. In the process, you will guarantee that your lab organization is one of the big winners in the laboratory marketplace of the future.


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