With more than 10% annual growth in the external sales over the last five years, Labor Berlin is growing significantly faster than the market. Managing Director Nina Beikert attributes this phenomenal success to its unique history.
“Of all the providers currently active in the market, we are the one that best understands the needs of hospital clients,” she explains. “We started out in hospitals and are well accustomed to working together with them and finding ways to optimize their processes to ensure better patient care.”
Anyone who has ever spent any time in hospital as a patient will be familiar with the daily routineof blood and other tests. “We deal with over 13,000 patient samples every day and cover more than 80% of the available hospital beds in Berlin,” says Ms. Beikert. “We deliver results within 30 mins for emergencies and within three hours for routine diagnostics.”
As well as speed, Labor Berlin also guarantees quality. “We work for a university-affiliated teaching hospital where the demands are particularly high,” adds Ms. Beikert. “Furthermore, many of our laboratory heads also perform functions within the teaching hospital so that when a clinician rings up about a test, they find themselves talking to their peers, someone with an intimate knowledge of the situation in the hospital. This means that we can be sure of speaking the same language as our clients and offering them the right consulting and diagnostics.”
As 70% of all diagnosis are based on the result of laboratory tests, quality is a crucial aspect of the service Diagnostic testing is an evolving field of medicine in which novel tests for new diseases are constantly being developed.
Labor Berlin is also at the forefront of these developments, investing 750,000 EUR this year alone in application-relevant research and development on highly innovative projects that will allow it to maintain its quality leadership in the future.
“We have placed great emphasis on excellence in all areas of our business,” states Ms. Beikert. “Our laboratories are equipped with the latest state-of-the-art automated analyzers while we have also been at pains to recruit experts who are specialized in the various areas of expertise required.”
Labor Berlin employs more than 550 people at thirteen laboratories located in hospitals across Berlin. Its proximity to its hospital clients allows it to guarantee a prompt service. “One of the reasons behind the merger was also to target other clients like external hospitals or private practitioners,” says Ms. Beikert. “This we have achieved by targeting big hospitals as well as specialized practices such as oncologists or nephrologists, for whom high quality of diagnostics and consultation from their laboratory is essential.”
Since the merger, the ratio of third party work undertaken by Labor Berlin has risen to almost 20%. “It has been very successful and allowed us to create more than 100 additional jobs,” adds Ms. Beikert. “What is more, we have been able to expand our radius of activity beyond Berlin. For example we cooperate with German Red Cross clinics as well as leading hospitals in cities such as Frankfurt and Chemnitz.”
Innovation is one of the key drivers of this expansion. Thanks to its pioneering work in dried blood spot cards, Labor Berlin is able to carry out diagnostic testing for clients around the world.
“We are for example offering an innovative diagnostic tool for patients with depression,” explains Ms. Beikert. “On the basis of genetic testing, we are able to say which family of medications will work best on which patients. The focus is currently on Germany but we also have samples submitted from far away.”
The ability to work for an innovative company operating at the cutting edge of developments in its field is a strong pull factor when recruiting new staff. In addition Labor Berlin works to create an attractive working environment with offers aimed at enhancing work/life balance such as free gym membership, emergency child care or a work bicycle for the daily commute.
“We want to help our employees achieve their career goals as well as lifestyle aims,” says Ms. Beikert. “As a young, creative and dynamic company, we want our working conditions to reflect that ethos. We have also implemented Trainee programmes for laboratory technicians and even medical specialists to ensure we maximize the pool of potential candidates from which we can recruit. After getting off to such a strong start, our goal is on sustainable growth in the coming years.”
There are plenty of topics to keep Labor Berlin busy in the future. “A big issue at the moment is the problem of over-prescription of antibiotics,” says Ms. Beikert. “We want to see how we can structure diagnostic testing in such a way that antibiotics are only used when they are needed. But other medications could also be dosed more effectively, thus reducing side effects for the patient and society. These are all projects where we have a useful contribution to make.”