Workflow Automation Solutions for Mid-volume Laboratories Introduced
May 07 2021
Beckman Coulter, a clinical diagnostics leader, has announced the European launch of the DxA 5000 Fit, a workflow-automation solution designed to fit into medium-sized labs that run fewer than 5,000 tests a day.
The clinical laboratory has gone through trial by fire in 2020, where total testing was 245% of baseline volumes, with ~55% being SARS-CoV-2 molecular tests. Despite vaccines, many industry players suggest SARS-CoV-2 testing volumes won’t be impacted in the near term, and the demand for COVID-19-related testing will continue through 2021 and potentially into 2022. This means that testing-volume pressure on labs is going to continue.
“When we look at automation for our labs it's a balancing act between system throughput capacity, test menu and footprint of the system. At the Harrogate District Hospital site, we knew that a large automated system will be too large and excessive and a standalone system doesn't give us the streamlined workflow we want. What we needed was a compact automation system that reduced the number of steps, requiring minimum human intervention and generated a valid result at first pass so that our lab professionals are not moving samples around but performing the valuable scientific tasks they are trained for," said Afruj Ruf, Managing Director at Integrated Pathology Solutions LLP, Airedale NHS Foundation Trust.
In a survey, lab directors and managers were asked to identify the key challenges hospital labs are facing. The results found that staffing (26%) and turnaround time (23%) were identified as top priorities. Automation plays a key role in helping to address many of these issues while enabling precious resources to focus on high-value, clinical tasks.
“For large laboratories, TLA is a reality today. However, for medium-volume labs like ours that process fewer than 4,000 tests per day, comprehensive workflow-automation solutions haven’t been an option,” said Susan Enciso, System Supervisor of Chemistry, Excela Health. “Beckman Coulter’s DxA 5000 Fit solution is the right fit for us,”
With the DxA 5000 Fit, mid-sized labs can enjoy the same benefits as larger-volume labs: comprehensive workflow automation to reduce up to 80% of manual steps through pre-analytical, analytical and post-analytical automation, conserving precious human resources to do higher-value clinical work; intelligent routing with dynamically calculated route planning for rapid and consistent TAT, with STATs always prioritized to deliver results faster; flexible design that can be adapted to meet a mid-volume lab’s space and infrastructure constraints.
“We chose the DxA 5000 Fit because it offers us end-to-end automation and will automate a lot of the pre- and post-analytical routine work our skilled technologists spend their time doing,” said Dr Hervé Vermeulen, Lab Director at Centre Hospitalier de Calais.
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