The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the urgency of population health management and how this concept is critical in ensuring patients' needs are promptly and efficiently met. During the height of the pandemic, the necessity for lab directors and managers to play a vital role in population health management became glaringly evident. With the vast amounts of sample collection and analysis, lab leaders were tasked with adapting to the changing and growing needs of the population.
Clinical laboratories continue to play a critical part in medical research, doing more than just the analysis and reporting of samples, they are helping the entire healthcare industry understand the health of entire populations. It is apparent that the role of the lab in population health is evolving. Therefore, lab leaders must focus on maintaining quality assurance, optimizing staff support, standardization and automation of processes and procedures, and utilizing data analytics, thereby becoming a central part of population health management.