A paradigm shift for diagnostic laboratories
The pandemic has created a new reality, and led to the rapid transformation of key industries across the whole economy. The diagnostics sector has not been immune from confronting drastic changes in circumstances, expectations and operational processes.
Within diagnostic labs, the need for fast, efficient, and accurate testing is pressing. Working to meet huge demand in diagnostic testing, has seen labs stretched to maximum capacity, with workforces grappling with significant operational challenges.
The pandemic has also underscored the crucial link between diagnostics and public health, and the importance of diagnostic labs being dynamic and agile enough to respond to changing circumstances.
New expectations and pressures in diagnostic labs
As scientists contend with the challenges of Covid-19 variants, there is significant pressure on labs for high capacity and reliable diagnostic testing to meet non-covid diagnostic testing demands. High-profile incidents, such as the Wolverhampton Covid-19 testing lab where 43,000 people were given incorrect test results, have highlighted both the pressure and importance of reliability when it comes to Covid-19 testing.
There is also increasing pressure on research and development teams to innovate, all the while the wider sector grapples with pandemic-induced challenges, such as upscaling lab capacity, whilst competing for a specialised pool of workers and ensuring reliable diagnostic supplies.
This comes at a time when the diagnostics sector is acutely understaffed. Recent research from Automata has uncovered how 95% of lab managers polled consider staff shortages to be a major concern. It also found that exhaustion and low staff morale was an endemic issue across the sector.