70% of Today’s Medical Decisions Depend on Laboratory Results—Lab Professionals Save Lives

By the bioMérieux Connection Editors

According to the CDC, 14 billion lab tests are ordered annually, and 70% of medical decisions depend on laboratory results. That means that laboratory professionals play a vital role in healthcare and patient advocacy.

Each year, Medical Laboratory Professionals Week (MLPW) celebrates the people who provide critical diagnostic information to help save patients’ lives. Now in its 44th year, MLPW continues to improve public understanding and appreciation for lab personnel and the critical work they perform.

This year’s theme is, “Get results: take your lab to the next level.” Lab professionals have been a crucial part of the continuum of care for decades, and technological innovations have provided increasing benefits over the years. From improved efficiency to more accurate, faster results, laboratorians are able to provide doctors and patients with thorough, timely information to help save lives.

More broadly, the lab has an important role to play in curtailing antibiotic resistance. According to the Wellcome Trust, 10 million people could die from resistant infections worldwide by 2050—that’s more people than cancer kills each year. But there is hope: Antibiotic stewardship efforts can help reduce resistance and save lives. 

A big part of antibiotic stewardship is providing timely, accurate results to help doctors identify and appropriately treat infectious diseases. Providing information about the cause of diseases can also help identify when antibiotics are not appropriate to prescribe. Appropriate antibiotic use helps reduce the rates of antibiotic resistance and prevent dangerous and potentially deadly infections.

So, if you’ve ever been treated for strep, pneumonia, other infectious diseases, or any number of health conditions, thank a lab professional—your doctor used the diagnostic information the lab provided to help you get better!

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of bioMérieux, Inc.

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