How to Choose Your Lab Supplies Provider

At Cen-Med, we realize that choosing the right laboratory supplier for your medical practice or urgent care center can be a complex decision. Quickly or randomly selecting a lab supply provider may result in frustration, hassle and cost you more money than you were willing to spend in the long run. Here are some tips that we think you’ll find useful as you search for a lab supply provider:


Research Laboratory Suppliers


The first, and perhaps most important step, in deciding which laboratory supplier is best for your practice or medical center is research. There are many things you will want to research before making your choice.


Check the lab supplier’s background and make sure they are experienced and trustworthy.


  • Read reviews by others online who have had experience with them. Additionally, you may want to look for references from other offices that have used this supplier in the past and reach out to them.
  • Make sure they are listed with the Better Business Bureau or are members of professional laboratory or medical associations.
  • Make sure they are transparent about their ordering, customer service, shipping, and returns policies.
  • Call them and make sure that someone picks up the phone promptly and can answer your questions quickly and knowledgeably before you order.
  • Check to see if the supplier has an online store like we do at Cen-Med. Having the ability to order lab supplies online can be convenient and help you save time!


Comparison Shop for Lab Supplies


First of all, you should know how much you willing to spend on your supplies. If you have a budget, you absolutely must do some comparison shopping to ensure that you are not being overcharged for what you need. Make a list of all the supplies you need and how much each supplier charges. Add up the total and see who meets your budget. Keep in mind that many lab suppliers also may offer special discounts or an email list to keep you informed of promotions, so make sure to not just look for their list prices online, but to also contact them to ask for their best pricing on your often-used supplies.


Build a Relationship with Your Lab Supplier


Once you’ve chosen a lab supplier, it is important to establish an effective relationship with them. Make sure that you have a point person that you can reach out to; a representative who will be able to answer any questions that may arise. This person may be an in-house sales person or customer service rep. Creating and cultivating this relationship with the right lab supplier, can benefit all parties involved in creating fast and accurate turnaround on lab supply orders. Furthermore, establishing a relationship with the right supplier can help you keep costs down and stick to your budget. Here at Cen-Med we pride ourselves in building relationships with our clients to ensure they have the best possible experience ordering lab supplies and equipment for their in-house lab.


In summary, we know that choosing the right laboratory supplier is an important decision. We hope that the tips above will help you select the right supplier for your needs.


For more information on how the speed and convenience of Cen-Med can help your company, please visit our website or call us toll free at 800-470-3570 with any questions. Our representatives are standing by waiting to help you. We look forward to hearing from you!

When Should You Consider including Lab Services in Your Practice?

In a Family Practice Management Journal article a few years back, Dr. Christine A. Sinsky wrote of ways for medical practices to work smarter rather than working harder – most healthcare professionals work hard enough as it is. Her first suggestion out of the 12 she made was having pre-appointment labs set up, so results are there during the visit. This would give the doctor the opportunity to provide better care and focus on any concerns with the patient sooner.

In-house labs can be convenient for the patient, help your staff provide better care and can be profitable as you receive reimbursements. However, many practices hesitate to set up one because they think the regulations are too difficult, they will need to hire more staff, and get the right equipment. Let’s address each of those concerns in turn:

  • Regulations: While it is correct that an in-house lab needs to adhere to the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments, these regulations are in no way impossible to meet. And if you are concerned about meeting all of them, you can hire a CLIA consultant to help you get started.
  • Staff: Yes, you do need someone who knows how to run a lab, but you may be able to cross-train a nurse or other personnel you already have on how to run it, and most simple labs can often be run by someone with a high school diploma and the proper training, so this doesn’t need to be a major expense on your practice.
  • Equipment: While it may feel daunting and expensive to find the right equipment, you can use the steep competition between equipment vendors to your advantage. Vendors will be happy to let you know which are the most commonly bought equipment in a starting lab, and you can often find great deals on medical practice supplies. In addition, you can always buy used from a trusted vendor. They will offer you equipment in good condition.

For more information on the medical equipment you’ll need for your lab and practice in general, please contact us today!