Evaluation of an Automated Preanalytical Robotic Workstation at Two Academic Health Centers

Evaluation of an Automated Preanalytical Robotic Workstation at Two Academic Health Centers

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Evaluation of an Automated Preanalytical Robotic Workstation at Two Academic Health Centers J. William Holman, 1 Theodore E. Mifflin, 1 Robin A. Felder, 1 and Laurence M. Demers 2* Background: Purchase of automated systems in today’s clinical laboratory needs justification based on demon- strable improvements in efficiency and a sound pay- back model. Few studies provide information on labo- ratory automation that focuses on the preanalytical portion of specimen processing. Methods: We recently evaluated an automated preana- lytical processing unit (GENESIS FE500) at two aca- demic health centers. This preanalytical unit processes blood specimens through automated specimen sorting, centrifugation, decapping, labeling, aliquoting, and placement of the processed specimen in the analytical rack. We quantified the output of the FE500 by process- ing > 3000 barcode-labeled specimens according to a protocol designed to test all of the features of this automated specimen-processing unit. Results: Depending on the batch size, aliquot number requested, and percentage of tubes that required centrif- ugation, the mean system output performance varied between 93 and 502 total tubes/h. Throughput increased when the batch size expanded from 40 or 100 samples (mean 5 211 total tubes processed/h) to batch sizes of 200 and 300 tubes (mean 5 474 total tube processed/h). The GENESIS FE500 processed specimen tubes differ- ing in size from 13 3 65 mm (width 3 height) to 16 3 100. At one site, the FE500 was operated by one person, compared with the three individuals required to per- form the same tasks manually. Finally, the specimen- processing error rate determined at one of the institu- tions was significantly reduced. Conclusions: We conclude that the GENESIS FE500 effectively reduces the labor associated with specimen processing; decreases the number of laboratory errors that occur with specimen sorting, labeling, and aliquot- ing; and improves the integrity of specimen handling throughout the steps of specimen processing. © 2002 American Association for Clinical Chemistry Clinical laboratory automation has traditionally focused on the analytical side of the clinical laboratory operation. Automated clinical analyzers have evolved to become multifunctional, high-throughput devices that require minimal volumes of serum or plasma to rapidly complete a wide variety of analytical procedures. Until recently, several traditional manually intensive areas of the labo- ratory (preanalytical and postanalytical specimen pro- cessing) have not been the focus of automation. The preanalytical specimen processing area of the clinical laboratory operation is typically prone to multiple errors in specimen handling and aliquoting, and overall repre- sents a tedious and manual section of the clinical labora- tory operation. In addition, in the past 10 years, a wide variety of specimen containers have become available for the collection and transport of human blood specimens to the laboratory. This has increased the complexity of
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This note was uploaded on 02/23/2011 for the course HTEC 50 taught by Professor Hassel,patricia during the Spring '11 term at DeAnza College.

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Evaluation of an Automated Preanalytical Robotic Workstation at Two Academic Health Centers

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