Molecular pathology is far from a passing fad or a purely consumer-oriented trend. Molecular diagnostics laboratories and consultants provide essential medical services that can aid physicians, healthcare providers, and patients in numerous ways, both in situations requiring ongoing treatment and as a preventative measure.
Operating any healthcare setting in the twenty-first century requires at least some consideration of the importance of molecular diagnostics. If you've been ignoring these important tests in your facility, consider these three ways that they can improve patient outcomes and offer providers more detailed and useful information.
1. Health Screening and Prevention
It's well-known that preventative care can reduce overall health costs. However, there's always a tradeoff. Increased screening procedures cost money, require more time from patients and providers, and may be counterproductive in lower-risk individuals. However, certain genetic factors can put some patients at higher risk for diseases that wouldn't otherwise be a concern.
Molecular diagnostics can improve the efficiency of preventative care by highlighting genetic risk factors and allowing providers to offer custom-tailored screening plans. For example, discovering that a patient may be at high risk for a certain type of cancer can mean screening at a much earlier age. These advantages can improve patient outcomes while lowering overall costs.
2. Drug Resistance Testing
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests are a form of molecular diagnostics with many applications, including testing for drug resistance. While many people may now associate PCR tests with COVID testing, this technique has broad applications, including in clinical settings where it's necessary to test resistance to drugs or other therapies.
Detecting these resistances in diseases requiring long-term treatment plans can be crucial in providing the best possible patient outcomes. In many cases, physicians may need to alter treatment plans or switch to a different drug, and doing so as early as possible can often provide the best benefits. Molecular diagnostics provide a reliable and accurate way to make these determinations.
3. Accurate and Quick Diagnosis
Of course, molecular diagnostic testing is incredibly valuable for detecting acute illness, as well. In addition to detecting viruses such as COVID, these tests are also useful for bacterial infections and even early-stage cancer detection. Most importantly, PCR testing can detect evidence of illness before the patient displays any significant symptoms.
By providing accurate and quick diagnoses, molecular diagnostic tests allow healthcare providers to provide treatment quickly. For illnesses where treatment may be more effective when administered early, these rapid turnaround diagnostics can drastically improve the likelihood of patient recovery or help minimize symptoms.
Reach out to a medical clinic like The Deerborne Group to learn more about molecular diagnostics.