According to a December 2008 survey by Clinical Laboratory News, the US recession is taking a toll on clinical labs. The e-mailed survey received 254 responses with 63%, 20% and 16% of respondents representing hospital labs, academic medical centers and reference labs, respectively. Thirty-three percent of survey respondents indicated that their labs’ budgets had been cut. Fifty-four percent reported that their labs have delayed capital equipment purchases, and 11% are now using rented or leased equipment. Classifying the amount of pressure on their labs to cut costs as either none, little, medium, high or intense, 30% each rated it medium and high, while 22% rated it intense. In terms of staffing over the past year, 49% of surveyed labs have left vacant positions open, 42% have eliminated overtime and 40% have instituted hiring freezes.

Source: Clinical Laboratory News

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