The year 2020 in diagnostics was dominated by rapid expansion in coronavirus analytics and the sampling network, the introduction of the Siemens PACS electronic image archive and the expansion of operations to South Karelia.

The principal topic in diagnostics in 2020 by a wide margin was the coronavirus. HUS Diagnostic Center began preparing for the epidemic early on in January.

“Our virus method was finalized quickly and was available at the end of January when the coronavirus was diagnosed in Finland for the first time. We scaled up our operations in the course of the spring, and the volume increased significantly in the autumn. The recruiting of the personnel needed for coronavirus sampling was also a substantial effort,” says Lasse Lehtonen, Director of Diagnostic Services.

Our virology laboratory at Meilahti began operating on a 24/7 basis at the end of March, and the Kivihaka testing line leased from Synlab in the autumn significantly increased the testing capacity of the HUS Corona Center. We also took over responsibility for running the coronavirus sampling network from the member municipalities. We recruited about 350 new employees for coronavirus sampling.

The epidemic raised public awareness of the importance of diagnostics among decision-makers and the public at large.

“Diagnostics has never been as prominently featured in public debate as it is now. This has increased public awareness of the HUS Diagnostic Center, and it has also increased its attractiveness in recruitment, having become a workplace of interest also for other people besides professionals in diagnostics,” says Lehtonen.

HUS Diagnostic Center services 2020

2020 2019 2020-2019 Change %
Radiological examinations and procedures 1,128,271 1,180,491 −52,220 -4.4%
Pathology 391,963 428,974 −37,011 -8.6%
Sampling 3,860,365 3,421,803 406,463 11.9%
Clinical physiology examinations and isotope studies 310,642 356,371 45,729 -12.8%
Clinical neurophysiology examinations 26,093 26,754 −661 -2.5%
Genetics 45,654 44,760 894 2.0%
Chemistry and hematology 18,886,307 18,881,639 4,668 0.0%
Blood products 105,296 97,909 7,387 7.5%
Microbiology 2,383,256 1,644,771 693,845 42.2%
Total 27,137,847 26,083,472 977,636 3.7%
Clinical genetics appointments 6,993 5,665 1,328 23.4%

Operations expanded to South Karelia

The HUS Diagnostic Centre expanded its operations to South Karelia at the beginning of 2020. We now offer laboratory and imaging services in specialist medical care and basic health care all across southern Finland, from Hanko to Parikkala.

A major IT reform was carried out in imaging with the introduction of a new electronic image archive system, Siemens PACS.

“We have also invested in research and teaching. We have increased the number of physicians qualifying as specialists in fields previously suffering from a shortage of specialists. Although it has been a busy year, our personnel satisfaction has improved,” says Lehtonen.

We foster customer satisfaction with a model where we work more with examination clients, i.e. HUS units and basic health care.

Number of physicians specializing in diagnostic specialties, by specialty 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Radiology 61 62 65 63 69
Pathology 12 13 14 14 16
Clinical physiology and nuclear medicine 7 9 9 10 9
Genetics and Clinical Pharmacology 9 12 11 11 12
Clinical neurophysiology 8 9 9 9 8
Clinical chemistry 9 8 6 4 6
Clinical microbiology 3 3 4 3 5