Layton Hospital patients who need lab services have saved an estimated $1.5 million since the hospital opened in late 2018, thanks to a unique idea that involved extra-mile collaboration between a few departments, including R1 schedulers, the Central Lab, and the Layton Hospital lab team.

“We realized we were going to have multiple locations on the Layton campus where patients could obtain blood draws, and each location had different processes and costs,” said Dave Garner, Layton Hospital lab manager.

Tests at Layton’s outpatient clinic, which opened a few months ahead of the hospital, would be processed by the Central Lab, while Layton Hospital’s outpatient and inpatient blood draws would be processed onsite.

“Essentially, we realized we’d be competing with ourselves in the same building for the same business,” said Garner.

The challenge was to come up with a process that could leverage the efficiency of the Central Lab without impacting the timing of patient care. Karen Brownell, executive director of Laboratory Services, spoke with Garner, along with Emily Shake, director of commercialization for Laboratory Services, about a way to combine lab services under one roof. Layton Hospital then began a pilot project to have both clinic and hospital outpatient blood draws processed by the Central Lab, while the hospital team would take care of acute inpatient blood draws and processing.

“This was an exciting project that was unlike anything we’ve done before,” said Shake.

“It’s definitely been a joint effort with a lot of learning,” said Garner. Much of the work happens on the back end, where couriers come through every few hours to take blood to the Central Lab in Murray for processing, he said.

While the patient doesn’t see any difference in their lab tests, the cost savings is passed along to them. “This has been a great benefit for patients,” Garner said. “We’re saving patients money because the cost for Central Lab processing is about three times lower than in the hospital lab. We still take care of acute needs in-house, such as the ICU, Med/Surg, OB, and the ED.”

The same process with the Central Lab will be implemented at Spanish Fork Hospital when it opens later this year.