A pathology or diagnostic center or blood test center is synonymous with one another. It mainly deals with the examination of body tissues for diagnostic or forensic purposes. Therefore it is very important to have pathology laboratories in all accessible places to arrive at the result of the disease occurred. The need for labs has been increasing day by day due to a direct increase in the number of patients. If you wish to start a medical diagnostic center that is high demand and scope will be much profit and appropriate for you ultimately this will return huge money.
The range of diseases and their complexity has contributed to the necessity of having a pathology lab. Medical and diagnostic centers are considered to be a major support to hospitals all over the world. This type of business is profitable because people will always have one reason or the other why they would need your service.
Details and Facts about Diagnostic centers
Some of the important facts about diagnostic centers in India:
- Size of diagnostic industry is around 5 billion dollar and it is growing 14-16% every year.
- Around 1 lakh diagnostic center in India
- Out of 1 lakh, pathology lab represents 70%. Radiology and imaging such as CT scan, X-ray, MRI, and ultrasound labs represents 30%.
- 90% of the total players in this industry are unorganized.
- Estimates show that only 1% of the total diagnostic center in India are accredited.
Types of medical tests performed in diagnostic center
- Clinical Pathology - laboratory that analyses body fluids such as urine and blood
- Radiology - Medical tests using imaging techniques such as CT scan, x-rays, MRI, PET and ultrasound.
Steps involved in starting Diagnostic Center
License required to start a Diagnostic Center
The medical industry focuses more on safety and having that there are several regulations and rules to be followed before setting up a pathology lab. The licenses vary from place to place and business to business in India. To get the reports accepted in hospitals and nursing homes, licenses are required otherwise it would be considered illegal.
The required licenses are given below:
- Accreditation from National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL)
- Accreditation from Good Clinical Practices (GCP)
- Get registered with the Shops and Establishments Act
- Get registered with the Clinical Establishment Act
- Get registered with biomedical waste disposal body
- Get approval for waste generation from the pollution board in your state
- Get NOC from the fire department
- Get NOC from the municipality
Qualifications required to open Diagnostic Center
You must be a qualified pathologist and must have the required license to practice from the Medical Council of India. You will require a biochemist, pathologist, and microbiologist. Lab technicians must have a Diploma or Bachelors in medical lab technology.
Setup requirements and cost estimation
The setup cost of the lab purely depends on the service offered and the investment you make. A good business plan is necessary to grow your business. As normal lesser investment then lesser will be the number of patients for whom the serviced offered. If there is more investment and most importantly that spend adequately on infrastructure, staff, machinery, and software tools the higher will be serviced and higher will be the incoming and outgoing of patients from your lab. Here we understand that the most important five parameters like infrastructure, space. staff, equipment, and software tools which decide the total entire setup planning and organization.
The Infrastructure of Diagnostic Center
The setup was due to give focus on the infrastructure of lab because it may help staff work efficiently without any disruption. There should be a very clear layout planned for various rooms and treatment areas so that all the planned activities of each department are done smoothly. There must be the availability or accessibility of various services of the lab should be well communicated to the patients who visit the lab for tests.
The other most important thing is that the level of cleanliness should be always kept high. As this relates to the medical activities, there may be some minor deviation from healthy surroundings which will lead to serious problems for both the patients and the staff working there.
Some facilities are necessary:
- Clean restrooms
- Waiting area
- Blood collection lab
- Lab equipment
- Storage and waste disposal
- Other basis elements of hospital
Hiring Staff for Diagnostic Center
Any organization is nothing but a reflection of its staff. You will need a highly-skilled team of professionals. Doctors, nurses, technicians, pathologists for the success of your pathological center. The staff which is selected to work in the lab must have standard qualifications for respective designations. The recruiting process must go with various rounds if screening and the final resulting staff are efficient enough o handle the complex problems in the medical field.
The lab technicians who are appointed must have enough control and knowledge over the machines used in the lab. They should be provided with training and induction programs during the initial stages of their appointment.
The work and other operations of the lab will be achieved well if the training is given properly. The staff who are regularly working in the lab must be vaccinated with necessary medicines to protect them from the communicable diseases of the patients.
The staff who are appointed must be assisted by a medical representative who will perform the activation of updating the staff with changing techniques. The medical representative will be informing you and the staff regularly about the dynamic conditions in the medical field. Innovations, new medicines, and new techniques will be informed so that you make necessary changes in the methods of finding results.
Space of Diagnostic Center
Minimum space recruitment should be to fit a hundred patients and they are respective accompany. Patients should not be left to merge and sit together or have a congested environment due to insufficient space. Space planning is necessary to place things right at its place. Clubbing to two or more departments performing various activities should not happen possibly that may give misplaced results or any undesirable condition.
Software Tools Diagnostic Center
To set up a modern and hi-tech lab everything becomes computerized. This helps in working in an organized manner. This will eliminate errors in results and will be an efficient time-saving opportunity. Having a record of their medical history will be possible with strong software tools and staff with adequate knowledge in this field. Diagnosis will also require efficient systems and programming to arrive at the results.
Here is a list of modern software that helps in lab management:
- Thinklab - it is an easy-to-use software that keeps a track of medical records, scheduling & appointments, specialization based EMR, prescription management, case-based tracking, billing, inventory, analytics & MIS, alerts and notification, private chat, etc.
- ThinkWide– A fully automated laboratory solution that helps in the supervision of nursing homes, polyclinics, medical shops, pathology, and radiology labs.
Equipment of Diagnostic Center
The equipment required for the pathology lab has a different range of items. The smartest way to purchase them all by having a checklist otherwise you might miss one or two important items. If your lab is short of necessary equipment then it will be rated as low. Having a various range of testing tools is the only way to make your lab more productive for the patients coming. We all know that the basic expectation of any patient will be the availability of all the required services in one place. From this, the most important part is the safety aspect of the purchased equipment. It is a better option to carry out preventive maintenance, than breakdown maintenance.
Some of the most important equipment needed in a pathology lab are as follows:
- Full auto analyzer
- Semi-auto analyzer
- Elisa washer
- Elisa reader
- Blood cell counter
- Regent and chemicals
- Deep fridge
- Dispensing scale
- Blood gas analyzer
Marketing plan for Diagnostic services
Marketing of labs does not mean that which lab ahs has the most money to spend on expensive marketing activities. In today's modern world everything and everyone is connected to the internet. Marketing is to attract more patients to your lab and you should be in a position to fulfill their needs. Generally, people rate the medical sector how they provided service.
- Having tie-ups with hospitals will be a very effective method of marketing.
- A Functional Website
- Facebook and Other Social Media
- Search Engine Optimization of your website
- Word of Mouth and Internal Marketing
- Automate your Operations