A joint project between the largest private employer in New York State, Northwell Health, and NYC Health + Hospitals, the largest public health system in the country, came to fruition this week when the two systems officially opened a $47.7 million shared, centralized laboratory in the NYC borough of Queens. The new Clinical Laboratory of New York is the largest nonprofit, hospital-operated lab in the country. Both systems said the new lab will boost quality and patient services and cut costs for both health systems.
The new 36,000-square-foot, two-story facility will provide microbiology tests, including molecular diagnostics, from local hospitals, clinics and physician offices. The lab will help shoulder Northwell's more than 30 million tests and 200,000 surgical pathology specimens annually as well as the roughly six million non-urgent tests from NYC Health + Hospitals along with its Core lab. In so doing, public hospital laboratories can focus on urgent testing.
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The lab's opening is part of a multi-year effort to standardize information systems and equipment and establish joint standards committees, Northwell said in a statement.
Northwell put up the initial investment to build the new lab, which also brought additional jobs to the area. The lab is forecasted to save NYC Health + Hospitals more than $20 million annually. Northwell hired about 90 new employees to handle the additional testing volume as well.
The lab is part of the Clinical Laboratory of New York Alliance, which took form five years ago with Northwell and NYC Health + Hospitals with the goal of integrating laboratory services through a shared reference lab.
ON THE RECORD
"This is an exciting time as Northwell Health Laboratories takes a step forward with new equipment and facilities to match our already excellent staff," said Dwayne Breining, MD, executive director of Northwell Labs. "Our partnership with NYC Health + Hospitals, along with the Core Lab expansion, is an investment in the health of all New Yorkers."
"This state-of-the-art facility shows what's possible when two mission-driven organizations collaborate," said Michael J. Dowling, president and CEO at Northwell Health. "Northwell Health's laboratory expertise, along with exciting new technology deployed here, will help turn tests around faster and more efficiently. That's good for all of the communities served by Northwell and NYC Health + Hospitals."
"The pooled expertise from our two health systems, combined with staff having the latest technology at hand, will benefit all our patients," said Mitchell Katz, MD, president and CEO at NYC Health + Hospitals. "The high volume of testing combined with greater efficiency from the overhead costs of operating just one large facility will save significant money for both our health systems. Such an endeavor is possible only with a partner like Northwell that shares a vision for and commitment to the highest quality of care."
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