Medical laboratory teams are the cornerstone of accurate diagnoses for patients. In fact, test results comprise approximately 70 percent of a patient's medical record today. Whether it's a routine health screen, cancer diagnosis or blood donation, medical lab professionals care for patients in small communities and metropolitan areas. For all of these, the cure only begins when a diagnosis is made. This often depends critically on the work of professionals in the laboratory.
April 22-26 is Medical Laboratory Professionals Week, dedicated to the life-saving contributions of more than 300,000 laby professionals. We care for patients every day, performing and interpreting tests that save lives and keep people healthy. Test results drive a significant portion of clinical decisions, from diagnosis to therapy, with the ultimate goal of providing excellent patient care. Using state-of-the-art technology and instrumentation, lab professionals perform and supervise tests that lead to the detection of potential health problems. Also, these professionals are part of the team to guide and assess ongoing treatment and care.
One way we can all celebrate this week is to renew a commitment to good health and schedule a health screening test or blood donation. As a pathologist, the physician leading laboratory medicine, I know that these simple and often routine tests and procedures save lives.
Lewis Hassell, Oklahoma City
Hassell is director of anatomic pathology at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.