Judy O'Rourke

Judy O’Rourke

We’re faced with headlines numbingly rife with dismal economic news, but a new report gives our industry good news to mull.

The report, from the nonprofit Battelle Memorial Institute, Columbus, Ohio, says genetic and genomic clinical lab testing each year spurs 116,000 jobs in this country (directly and indirectly) and pours $16.5 billion into our economy, largely as a result of advancements made possible by the mapping of the human genome.

The report, titled “The Economic and Functional Impacts of Genetic and Genomic Clinical Laboratory Testing in the United States,” was sponsored by the American Clinical Laboratory Association, Washington, DC, and its educational arm, Results for Life. We’ve posted the report on our Web site. If you’re reading this in CLP‘s new digital edition—launched with this issue—click here. Otherwise, visit www.clpmag.com.

The establishment of leading-edge genetic testing services and products “supports about 44,000 direct jobs and generates about another 73,000 jobs in key supplier industries, such as real estate, food services, and wholesale trade businesses, as well as a result of consumer spending by laboratory employees,” the report says, without ever losing sight of the even bigger picture: how genetic and genomic clinical lab testing foster improved patient care, handing physicians a tool to help them provide more targeted treatments for childhood leukemia, cervical cancer, blood clotting, melanoma, colorectal cancer, heart disease, and HIV.

Since the Human Genome Project was completed in 2003, informatics technology such as next-generation sequencing has accelerated the development of novel therapies. The more personalized approach to medicine has altered the way clinical research is performed and ushered in translational research, delivering results from the clinical lab to the patient’s bedside. Next-generation laboratory and patient-management tools that are instrumental in making this a reality are laboratory information management systems (LIMS) and laboratory information systems (LIS). Gary Tufel’s article delves into how the synergy of patient-centric processes in the clinic and the sample-centric lab environment helps streamline end-to-end information flow following the patient from the point of care, to molecular testing and results analysis, to diagnosis and treatment.

Judy O’Rourke
Editor, CLP
, (619) 659-1065