Female doctor looking at clipboard with test results
Syndromic Testing

Convincing your administration to invest in PCR panel tests

By QIAGEN Syndromic Testing

Infectious diseases are notoriously difficult to diagnose. Many pathogens may be at play, and symptoms can overlap. To manage patients effectively, you need to identify the underlying pathogen quickly. Unlike standard-of-care methods, multiplex PCR panel tests can provide results for a comprehensive range of pathogens at once. 

Read on to learn how to convince your institution that this technology is worth the investment.

Multiplex PCR panel tests, also known as syndromic tests, are molecular diagnostic assays that can dramatically reduce the time and effort required to perform a comprehensive microbiological assessment.

The QIAstat-Dx system is an exceptionally efficient and reliable example, backed by nearly 40 years of QIAGEN expertise in sample prep. It uses a one-step preparation process that requires no extra reagents, reducing the risk of contamination. It also provides insights in the form of easy-to-view Ct values and amplification curves (1).

These tests can help practitioners significantly improve care for patients with infectious diseases (2). By providing comprehensive results quickly, syndromic tests can optimize the diagnostic process. This can reduce unnecessary additional testing and support diagnostic stewardship (3).

And by enabling evidence-based pathogen identification and rational antimicrobial use, they are also a crucial component of antimicrobial stewardship programs (3). As a result, syndromic testing can shorten hospital length of stay, reduce overall testing, improve infection control decisions and optimize antimicrobial use (2).

Despite these benefits, there are barriers to implementing syndromic tests, with the primary obstacle being cost. Syndromic tests typically incur greater upfront and running expenses than standard-of-care microbiology methods.

The patient management benefits provided by syndromic testing may reduce overall healthcare costs.
But many studies have shown that these tests can reduce overall healthcare costs. For example, compared to standard of care, respiratory syndromic testing has demonstrated cost savings in multiple scenarios:
Study* Demonstrated cost savings of syndromic testing
versus standard of care
Shengchen D, Gu X, Fan G, et al. Clin Microbiol Infect.
$237.8 per patient

Rogers BB, Shankar P, Jerris RC, et al. Arch Pathol Lab Med.

$231 in hospital costs and $17 in antibiotic use per patient

Martinez, RM, et al. Poster #C-368 presented at:
Clinical Virology Symposium. 2016.

Positive test: >$9,000

Negative test: >$8,000
Shadowen RD, Doshi A, Ndzi R, Kazimuddin F. 1991.
Open Forum Infect Dis. 2019;6(Suppl 2):S668.
Total antibiotic cost: $202.73
Antibiotic charges: $240.23

Syndromic testing can significantly benefit both patients and an institution's bottom line. How can you convince your administration to invest if you want to bring this technology to your lab?

To pitch a new molecular diagnostic instrument to your hospital administration, you must prepare and submit a business plan to justify the cost and explain the benefits to the hospital.

We've put together some tips and best practices you can use the next time you need to develop a business plan.


  1. QIAstat-Dx Respiratory SARS-CoV-2 Panel Instructions for Use. 1st ed. July 2021.
  2. Clark TW, Lindsley K, Wigmosta TB, et al. J Infect. 2023;86(5):462-475. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jinf.2023.03.005
  3. Shah A, Falgarona MJ. MLO. August 24, 2023. https://www.mlo-online.com/disease/infectious-disease/article/53067171/respiratory-illnesses-a-growing-opportunity-for-stewardship

* Data cited pertains to the use of a device from another manufacturer.

For up-to-date licensing information and product-specific disclaimers, see the respective QIAGEN kit instructions for use or user operator manual. QIAGEN instructions for use and user manuals are available at www.qiagen.com or can be requested from QIAGEN Technical Services (or your local distributor).