Labs Should Leverage Their “Crown Jewels”

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ONE NEW FEATURE of our annual Executive War College every May is a Lab CEO SUMMIT which takes place on the Thursday after the Tuesday-Wednesday event. It attracts a growing number of senior lab executives and pathologists who come to explore the strategic directions of the lab industry and pathology profession.

This year’s Lab CEO SUMMIT was the setting for the presentation of Marc Grodman, M.D., President and CEO of Bio-Reference Laboratories, Inc. of Elmwood Park, New Jersey, which is our lead story in this issue of THE DARK REPORT. (See Pages 2-6.) Dr. Grodman’s presentation is a fine example of the lucid market trend analysis that is occurring in some of the nation’s most progressive laboratory organizations. I think you’ll find his thoughts provocative and his insights directly applicable to your own laboratory situation, regardless of whether you’re part of a commercial lab, a hospital lab, or a pathology group.

Those of you reading this issue of THE DARK REPORT are once again among the first in the lab industry to learn how and why the laboratory’s best asset, its network of physician clients, is coming under attack by a host of Internet-based predator companies. This is an early warning about a threat and an opportunity. I concur with Dr. Grodman’s assessment that connectivity providers are flooding into the healthcare industry and will transform it in just as radical a fashion as the managed care companies did during the early 1990s. I also concur with his belief that, in this new and evolving health business model, connectivity to a network of physicians is the key to both survival and prosperity. For that reason, I would categorize the physician client base of any clinical laboratory as the “crown jewels.” These are worth protecting at any cost.

But winning laboratories will understand that business success relies on more than protecting the crown jewels. Bio-Reference Laboratories is reaching out to its physician network to offer enhanced, added-value services ahead of E-commerce competitors. Laboratories and pathology practices should recognize the true market value of their physician network. In the world of interconnected healthcare E-commerce, every lab’s physician network is its best asset to leverage for success, long-term stability, and enhanced profits!

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