Collection centres, the ignition of the whole pathology and diagnosis process, have seen the heart of the corona crisis globally. With high restrictions and regulations in most, if not all parts of the globe, pathology collection centres have seen physical social distancing rules implemented and a halt of diagnoses. This has caused a still in pathology testing, even where COVID testing has stepped in. As a result, collection centres—or the concept—is changing, for the better.
Modular and mobile
There has been a move towards modularity and flexibility in an otherwise fixed world. Modular furniture, joinery and cabinetry helped to achieve this move, and is becoming more and more appreciated particularly in collection centres.
Modular innovations not only provide a previously unforeseen level of flexibility but have also opened a host of particularly unique windows of opportunity to make the clinical experience simple and easy for both the customer and the pathologist. Such opportunity has been grasped with both hands by the team at Westlab. ‘Clip-on’ cabinetry and accessories have allowed endless opportunities with lab and clinical optimisation.
Laboratories in general and especially pathology, are going vertical. Vertical laboratory workspaces, equipment, and furniture provide customisation, efficiency and convenience all in one. A low footprint with vertical furniture provides far greater space efficiency and a more convenient option for the pathologist. Instead of chipboard cupboards and inefficient spaces, going vertical provides space, storage, mobility, and full customisability.
Customer-facing in pathology is becoming more of an area of interest to pathologies as times constantly change. The experience for the customer is ever more seen as an essential part of the success of the whole pathology organisation: the customer is where the process starts. What does this mean? Customer retention, being the success point for the pathology, is being achieved with aesthetics, modern design and functionality. These factors provide comfort and seamless experience for the customer.
The gradual rise and sudden spike of telehealth and the quick decrease in inpatient stay mean that pathologies are becoming increasingly independent from hospital systems—but not less important. Less face-to-face and more virtual appointments mean that collection centres will become one of the main customer-facing health industries. This will place greater pressure on the need for customer retention and reliance and emphasise the need to adapt.
For the post-COVID collection centre, there may be new needs for PPE and other consumables and resulting changes in value chains could mean new cost margins. As with any financial change, this would add pressure in areas such as procurement stringency in collection centres, and measures to protect people from disease. Furthermore, costs such as increased labour costs for collection and the likes are probable.
As with any national or international crisis, there are sure to be changes in regulations and policies, whether national, state or part of the company itself. Stricter sanitation and PPE requirements are likely, as well as regulations for pathology processes and layout. This could directly affect the way the pathology collection centre operates, and thus affect the style and function of physical properties such as the ability to adapt.