Enhancing the Productivity and Efficiency of Physician Office Laboratories

“The company has aided in our efforts of reasonably priced laboratory tests to our patients, providing them with personal health awareness.” – Kelsey Skogstad, Director of Operations at Rocky Mountain Laboratories.

Physician Office Laboratory

A prime goal for physicians is to increase the level of quality care for their patients, which is achieved by earlier diagnosis and treatment. As shown in figure 1, when physicians have a clinical laboratory that is part of their practice, they are not only able to obtain their patient’s test results quicker, but also can increase overall efficiencies. These efficiencies pertain to the decrease in sample loss or inaccuracies, commonly due to courier transport of the sample to the core laboratory and return of results to the physician. Both cost the caregiver, patient and insurance provider money in the long run. Physician Office Laboratories (POLs) have been partnering with HORIBA Medical for our customer obsessive and dedicated approach we bring to clinical laboratories. With HORIBA Medical’s complete lineup of high quality and reliable diagnostic testing solutions, numerous POLs have been able to consolidate their procurement, boost their productivity and streamline their workflow.

Million - The number of visits to a POL in 2016*

Million - The number of visits to a POL in 2016 with a practice size of 3-5*


The Percent of visits made to primary care physicians in 2016*

Figure 1: Workflow of a Physician Office Laboratory


Step 1

The physician orders the test(s)


Step 2

Sample is collected from the patient


Step 3

If blood, sample is centrifuged down, and packaged / If urine, sample is packaged


Step 4

Sample is sent directly to an in-house clinical laboratory or local reference / satellite laboratory: Note, turnaround time is shortened, and inaccuracies decreased


Step 5

Patient schedules second appointment to the physician, presuming results are abnormal


Step 6

Physician provides results to the patient


  1. National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey: 2016 National Summary Tables, table 1. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/ahcd/namcs_summary/2016_namcs_web_tables.pdf
  2. Weinert, Kerri and Peter Gyorda. “Triangulating Dynamic of Clinical Laboratory Testing | Clinical Chemistry. “Home | Clinical Chemistry. AACC – Clinical Chemistry, Oct 2015. Web. 7 Apr 2018. http://clinchem.aaccjnls.org/content/61/11/1320
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