Molecular testing in the clinical microbiology department has traditionally been performed Monday to Friday 9-5pm. There are various reasons for this. Twenty years ago, this area was highly specialised hands on work. Turnaround times were long and the results often did not effect an immediate change in patient management.
Times are changing…
Nowadays molecular tests for bacteria and viruses can be performed in real time, with results that can dramatically change the patient’s management. The tests are becoming automated and simplified to the extent that they can often be performed by scientists who are not molecular experts. The newer molecular platforms, being completely enclosed, are “coming out” into the main laboratory, and the whole discipline is becoming more mainstream.
In light of this we need to start thinking of providing “molecular services” not just from Monday to Friday, but during the weekends as well, and overnight when necessary.
The laboratories that succeed in making this sort of progressive change, will be seen as giving the best service to their patients, and will be the laboratories that are still around in twenty years time….
“It is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able to adapt to and to adjust best to the changing environment in which it finds itself”