Multidisciplinary Testing on a Shared Automation Track

Multidisciplinary Testing on a Shared Automation TrackThe growing case for adding hematology and hemostasis to the mix

Combined chemistry and immunoassay testing is an accepted practice in diagnostic core labs with track-based automation. Yet resistance to adding the blood sciences to the track persists. As more labs take this leap and study the effects, concerns about a loss of quality have not been realized. Moreover, there is growing evidence that points to the advantages of fully automated multidisciplinary testing. Consider these hemostasis and hematology gains:

Andreas Huber

After Kantonspital Aarau in Switzerland added a Sysmex® CS-5100 System* onto its Aptio® Automation track, the lab increased its coagulation test volume from from 1.9 to 3.2 million tests per year with only a 7% increase in staffing. The lab also added 15 new tests they were previously unable to offer and has been able to shift some staff from routine into specialty chemistry and specialty coagulation work.

In the United Kingdom, a benchmarking study monitored 90 National Health System labs with and without tracked hematology. Four peer group-matched subgroups compared Siemens Healthineers and other manufacturers’ instruments in both tracked and stand-alone labs of comparable size and complexity. Labs with Siemens Healthineers hematology on the track demonstrated:

  • Better turnaround time performance for full blood count tests from the Emergency Department, with 95.8% of requests reported back within the Royal College of Pathologists target of 60 minutes.
  • Lower average cost per test. Based on typical workloads, the study projected that labs with Siemens Healthineers hematology analyzers could save £110,000 per year by bringing those instruments onto the track. Moreover, it projected potential savings of about £270,000 per year if the labs using equipment from other manufacturers switched to a Siemens Healthineers tracked system. This could amount to £1.9 million in savings in just 5 years.
Performance improvements

In 2001, Hospital Clinic de Barcelona in Spain was among the first healthcare providers in the world to create an automated core lab. In 2015, they streamlined even more with Aptio Automation, connecting analytical systems across all four core lab disciplines. Today, they continue to evolve their automation track.

When it comes to multidisciplinary testing, not all automation tracks are created equal. Hemostasis and hematology can live in harmony with chemistry and immunoassay testing, but such a move requires careful consideration and planning to ensure quality. Have you considered how total lab automation can help to expand your test menu or lower your cost per test?