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Some areas of the clinical laboratory adapt naturally to automated methods, while other areas prove difficult to automate. Microbiology, specifically serology, has proven to be a difficult area of clinical diagnostics to fully automate. The primary impetus behind any automation scenario is the need to consolidate testing platforms. Serology traditionally utilized an ELISA-based micro-titer plate (MTP) manual or semi-automated bench top system. Now that infectious disease testing portfolios are expanding on mainframe and dedicated immunoassay analyzers, consolidation opportunities have improved.
This white paper will explore the various components of automating a high-volume serology lab, detailing a schema for platform consolidation, which can lead to efficiency, productivity and quality improvements, ultimately driving significant reductions in cost. The authors of the paper assessed various platforms for performing ID testing using side-by-side comparisons of menus showing where the opportunities for consolidation are. Once a system was chosen, an in-depth analysis of efficiency and quality metrics was performed and presented. Examples of efficiency evaluations include turnaround time (TAT), labor and workflow mapping. Productivity was evaluated in terms of technologist productivity, laboratory productivity and relative productivity.
In addition to these topics, the white paper presents a case study. Looking for systems that can be modified and adapted to automate serological testing, laboratory staff at the Medical Center Alkmaar (MCA) in the Netherlands have evaluated a variety of automated immunoanalyzers, including the VersaCell® System (which combines the Siemens Centaur® XP and IMMULITE® 2000 Xpi), the Dynex DSX, and Biomerieux Vidas.
The Dark Report is delighted to offer a recently published FREE White Paper that describes an approach to automating the infectious disease serology laboratory. It is titled, “Achieving Automation in Serology: A New Frontier in Best Practices.” Published by The Dark Report and Dark Daily, it is available free to laboratory professionals as a PDF download.
Along with other topics, this FREE White Paper specifically addresses:
- Approaches to workstation consolidation
- How a micro-automated serology workstation can improve efficiency
- Evaluation of a specific micro-automated serology workstation’s effects on productivity, quality and cost
A case study describing how the Microbiology Laboratory at the Medical Center Alkmaar (MCA) in The Netherlands developed a micro-automation system for use in infectious disease (ID) serology.
Chapter 2. Efficiency— Page 7
Chapter 3. Productivity— Page 10
Chapter 4. Quality — Page 14
Chapter 5. Cost — Page 16
Summary— Page 18