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Control of Infectious Diseases in the Era of European Clinical Microbiology Laboratory Consolidation: New Challenges and Opportunities for the Patient and for Public Health Surveillance

Vandenberg, O; Kozlakidis, Z; Schrenzel, J; Struelens, MJ; Breuer, J; (2018) Control of Infectious Diseases in the Era of European Clinical Microbiology Laboratory Consolidation: New Challenges and Opportunities for the Patient and for Public Health Surveillance. Frontiers in Medicine , 5 , Article 15. 10.3389/fmed.2018.00015. Green open access

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Abstract

Many new innovative diagnostic approaches have been made available during the last 10 years with major impact on patient care and public health surveillance. In parallel, to enhance the cost-effectiveness of the clinical microbiology laboratories (CMLs), European laboratory professionals have streamlined their organization leading to amalgamation of activities and restructuring of their professional relationships with clinicians and public health specialists. Through this consolidation process, an operational model has emerged that combines large centralized clinical laboratories performing most tests on one high-throughput analytical platform connected to several distal laboratories dealing locally with urgent analyses at near point of care. The centralization of diagnostic services over a large geographical region has given rise to the concept of regional-scale “microbiology laboratories network.” Although the volume-driven cost savings associated with such laboratory networks seem self-evident, the consequence(s) for the quality of patient care and infectious disease surveillance and control remain less obvious. In this article, we describe the range of opportunities that the changing landscape of CMLs in Europe can contribute toward improving the quality of patient care but also the early detection and enhanced surveillance of public health threats caused by infectious diseases. The success of this transformation of health services is reliant on the appropriate preparation in terms of staff, skills, and processes that would be inclusive of stakeholders. In addition, rigorous metrics are needed to set out more concrete laboratory service performance objectives and assess the expected benefits to society in terms of saving lives and preventing diseases.

Type: Article
Title: Control of Infectious Diseases in the Era of European Clinical Microbiology Laboratory Consolidation: New Challenges and Opportunities for the Patient and for Public Health Surveillance
Location: Switzerland
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3389/fmed.2018.00015
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3389/fmed.2018.00015
Language: English
Additional information: © 2018 Vandenberg, Kozlakidis, Schrenzel, Struelens and Breuer. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: clinical microbiology, consolidation of laboratory service, clinical impact, infectious diseases surveillance, public health
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Infection, Immunity and Inflammation Dept
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10044346
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