Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have heard many stories about the role each healthcare professional has played, and we are sincerely thankful for that. But there is a profession, an essential one, that often goes below the radar of the public opinion and that should never be ignored: Laboratory professionals.
Diagnostics are essential as they are transforming the way diseases can be prevented, treated and monitored. Therefore, they play a key role in providing focused health care. For many years, diagnostics have been helping healthcare professionals make informed decisions.
Every day, laboratory professionals work to identify the flow of patients whose cancer treatments have been delayed and prevent further delays. They also assist with medical backlogs by looking for opportunities for non-invasive surgeries through early diagnosis.
As if that was not enough, laboratory professionals can provide timely support for primary care and improve outcomes for communities with 50-70% of clinical decisions depending on medical laboratory results.
An everyday example: When you require a blood test, there is someone between the person taking your sample and your healthcare professional responsible for making the right decision for you based on the results. That “someone” is the laboratory professional who, by the way, has been under a lot of pressure these past few years without getting the recognition they deserve.
More than two years of this pandemic have already passed; Canadians have faced unprecedented challenges and hardship while the spread of the virus and increase of infections created the urgency for millions of tests, and the results were needed as quickly as possible. But our Lab professionals were up to the challenge, they delivered what was expected from them and even more. They worked on long shifts avoiding holidays and worked hard to increase turn around times to support every single request.
Why this urgency for quick results? Simply because the results of the tests analyzed in laboratories by lab professionals were, are and will continue to be essential in the fight against the pandemic. Test results are at the core of the decision-making of public health authorities around the world. When to wear (or not) a mask, when to keep (or not) social distancing, when to close (or not) restaurants and stores, when to call (or not) for a booster vaccine shot, and more... !
In this National Lab Week, Roche Diagnostics Canada wants to celebrate and thank all laboratory professionals. These heroes who often wear lab coats deserve our gratitude for all that they do for each of us, our friends, families, communities, and the healthcare system across Canada. They have been reliable, trustworthy and a steady partner through the pandemic and beyond. Their unwavering commitment, tireless efforts and personal sacrifices have helped save and improve so many lives.
As communities seek to learn from the pandemic, there is a need for inclusivity in health human resources strategies and that includes investing in Laboratory professionals. We need more of them; We need to take care of them; We need to recognize them... Let’s take the time to celebrate them!
Amukele T, Schroeder L. What is the value of clinical laboratory testing? J Appl Lab Med. 2017:339-41.
Hiltunen M. Dispelling the 70% claim with laboratory’s true value. MedicalLab Management. October 2017. Pp 8-12.
Laboratory Services Expert Panel. November 12, 2015.
Rohr UP, Binder C, Dieterle T et al. The value of in vitro diagnostic testing in medical practice: a status report. PLoS One. 2016;11(3):e0149856
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