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Nov, 02 2015

Testing high on profit levels

The rising healthcare awareness and demand for quality services, have opened gateway for the market of diagnostic and pathology to grow extensively in the recent times. With the mushrooming of acute diseases, customers and patients also prefer to opt for

With rapid commercialisation in the healthcare and diagnostics industry, the demand for path labs has led to massive boom in India. This is the right time to set up a diagnostic lab but are you being sceptical whether this venture of yours will be a hit or miss? Well starting a diagnostic centre is not at all a cakewalk. Ample research, planning and investment is required to do before hand as opening one will need space, capital and knowledge about medical tests and advance technologies for best and accurate results.

Industry insight

The diagnostic industry is pegged at Rs 10000 crore and exhibits a healthy CAGR of more than 15 per cent. The industry is largely by far crowded by unorganised players with more than 100,000 labs across the country but a few are consolidated as organised. Parameters including advance technology, automation of equipment, home collection for samples and a structured- business oriented strategy are taken into consideration while calling any diagnostic brand as organised. SRL Diagnostics, Metropolis, Dr Lal PathLabs, Thyrocare and Piramal Diagnostics are some of the leaders in the diagnostic industry in India.

Operational since 1981, Metropolis Healthcare Ltd boasts itself to be leaders across countries in pathology labs. “Metropolis Healthcare has always brought the very best to its customers and stakeholders since the time we started in 1981. We adhere to the highest quality standards and are among the very few in the country to have NABL and CAP accredited certifications. We take pride in providing accurate test results consistently every time. Unparalleled customer service, innovation and automation, unique services like Lab@Home, in-house call centers, R&D, are some of the initiatives, which differentiates Metropolis from its competitors,” says Ameera Shah, MD & CEO Metropolis Healthcare Ltd.

Trends in trade

Franchising is the biggest thing that is happening in the path lab industry. The leading players in the industry have adopted the sure shot expansion method of franchising to strengthen their business network horizontally as well as vertically. Not only have they started sub franchising their laboratories but have come up with small and low investment model of collection centres that doesn't require much of staff and equipments but a sound space to collect the samples and send them to the laboratories. The idea behind partnering is to get the best results while optimising and maximising the resources to the end users or customers.

Another trend that has gripped in the diagnostic industry is to penetrate into tier- II & III cities. The organised diagnostic labs are of the opinion that they all wants to provide accurate and reliable diagnostics to the customers, which is the basic of any treatment irrespective of what class of cities they are in. 

Stepping stone to success

Space: Location is the vital requirement for setting up a diagnostic centre.  One needs to find an area that can be easily accessed by people and is within the reach of patients with chronic diseases. Also the space should be big enough to accommodate machineries for blood sampling, CT and MRI scans, ultrasound, etc. Apart from this area should have well lit rooms and proper ventilation and air conditioners and clean toilets for stool and urine samples.

Capital: The machines and equipments for investigating path lab tests are expensive and calls for investment. Apart from this, if a franchisee rents or takes a space on lease, he should be ready to bear investment for that too. Salaries to the staff, electricity, stationery, water supply and other everyday expenses are also to be incurred.

Instruments: A well equipped diagnostic lab is a must with collection tubes and syringes of various bores needed to draw blood in adults as well as paediatric patients. Now a days, vacu-tainers are the rule for blood collection in most centres as they reduce the blood collection time and reduce chances of contamination drastically. Samples of urine and stool need different containers for their storage. Ample space is needed to store samples during the day prior to processing. Labeling samples is essential and one needs adequate staff for the same. Syringes and instruments should be sterilised and hygienic before using.

Skilled staff: A diagnostic lab should posses a team of skilled staff including laboratory technicians and pathologists/radiologists, sample collectors, receptionists and enquiry coordinator.

License/ registration: A diagnostic centre requires numerous licenses to open and it is also necessary to renew it every year to avoid any legal apathy. One should also get the laboratory registered under the locality and with the government authorities for accreditation by NABL

Medical knowledge: Regular updation and ugradation to staff about the latest tests and investigation procedures available in the medical fraternity is must.

  • Boom in the healthcare sector is fuelling growth of the diagnostics and associated pathological laboratories
  • Indian diagnostics market has been experiencing immense progress for the last few years.
  • Technological advancements and higher efficiency systems have taken the sector to greater heights.
  • Diagnostic medical imaging and diagnostic lab services are growing at a fast pace due to growing demand for automated diagnostics.
  • Source: Medical diagnostics Market in India 2014- India report is part of Netscribes' Healthcare Series

Checklist to open a collection centre

1              Authorised Collection Centre Board

2              Timing Board (Inside & outside) with Phone number

3              Notice Board

4              Well lit Room around 150 to 250 sq.ft.

5              Wash Room with hand washing facility

6              Air Condition

7              Electric Needle Cutter

8              Computer and ledger Printer

9              Internet Connection

10           Power Backup

11           Phlebotomy Chair

12           Vacutainer Rack/Specimen holding basket

13           Refrigerator (Frost Free)

14           Calibrated Digital Thermometer

15           Phone

16           First Aid Box with thermbofob, Betadine lotion, Hand Sanitizer & Savlon

17           Height Chart

18           Weighing Machine

19           Lab Coat (Apron)

20           DMLT Phlebotomist

21           Waste Agreement with Govt. Approved agency

22           Waste Dustbins

23           Suggestion box

24           Glucose powder measuring machine

25           Urine measuring cylinder

26           Drinking Water - Water Dispenser & Jug

27           Centrifudge Machine 6-8 head with calibration certificate

28           Reception and waiting area separate from collection area

29           Provision of privacy during Sample collections

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