How to Save Money Running a Reference Lab

Without Sacrificing Quality, Reliability, or Efficiency

As an independent clinical laboratory, your “Reference Lab” is responsible for performing high volume tests for physician’s offices, treatment centers, clinics, and other health care facilities. Maintaining the confidence of your referral sources is critical. They rely on you for fast, accurate reporting, and in the case of confirmation tests, providing results that are legally defensible.

Is it possible to provide these essential, high quality services and save money at the same time? Yes, and in this article, we’ll show you how and introduce you to the team that has been leading the way since 1993.

From Reagents to Consumables – One Stop Shopping

One of the most likely sources of unnecessary cost is in purchasing. To continue operations, your lab relies on a wide variety of consumables. There are chemicals, reagents, calibrators, and controls, as well as barcode labels, beakers, gloves, and test tubes. The average toxicology lab may have hundreds of items on its order list.

Placing orders piecemeal, from several different suppliers, can cause expenses to mount rapidly.

Acquiring your supplies from a single, comprehensive source not only saves money on the supplies themselves but on shipping costs too.

That’s where DTPM comes in. At Drug Testing Program Management, we offer a comprehensive array of laboratory equipment and consumables. That gives us the ability to work with each laboratory in developing custom pricing to match anticipated operational needs.

Not only do you save with a custom agreement, we coordinate your order cycle with cost-effective shipping, providing another avenue to reduce costs without sacrificing quality.

And with DTPM, you will never sacrifice quality.

Our promise is to provide better equipment for the same or better cost.

It’s easy! Buy all your supplies in one place with a custom pricing plan based on your needs and volume, and save on shipping too with planned ordering.

To learn more, call us at 256-845-1261, or visit our online store at

Expert Consulting

Another way to save money is by reviewing the design and layout of your laboratory. Because reference labs are usually high-volume operations, workflow is a critical component of timely operations. Dealing with sample processing, chain of custody, supply storage, and even the physical positioning of the chemistry analyzer in the lab – these things impact on the ease and efficiency with which your team can do their jobs.

At DTPM, we can unleash the hidden efficiency of your laboratory.
When you work with DTPM, you deal only with experts whose industry-wide reputation for accessibility and problem-solving is well-earned. We offer exceptional support in every area, from workflow management to administration, from sales and accounts to customer service.

Superior Technology and Service

Though it may sound counter-intuitive, investing in new, state-of-the-art analyzers may be a significant, money saving move.
Older, slower equipment, requiring more frequent repairs or time-consuming calibrations can build up costly downtime. If the work is there and the chemistry analyzer isn’t, you’re losing money.
At DTPM, our lab setup and support agreements keep your operation on the cutting-edge of toxicology testing while keeping your costs consistent and affordable.

There is also no need to buy the analyzer out-right. With DTPM’s Cost Per Reportable and Cost Per Test agreements, you receive state-of-the-art Analyzers, associated equipment, and consumables without the up-front expense of a major capital purchase.

In addition to setup services, responsive technical support, and training, our contract periods are geared to assure that your lab keeps pace with the latest laboratory technologies.


As we’ve seen, it is possible to run a state-of-the-art reference lab, one that is ready to deliver the highest quality results quickly and reliably, and still save money.

The keys are:

  • One-stop shopping from a comprehensive source of chemicals and consumables.
  • Lab design and workflow geared to provide maximum operational efficiency.
  • The latest analyzers combined with exceptional training and support.

We know the challenges involved in building and operating a successful reference laboratory, and at DTPM our knowledge is your success.

Interested in learning more? Call us at 256-845-1261, or visit our website at