Fully automated core lab reaps benefits
Results include improved care and staff engagement
In October, our newly automated UF Health Shands Hospital Core Laboratory went live after five years of planning. Automation has resulted in increased quality and safety of patient care, faster lab results and increased employee engagement.
“The staff on our team were the ones who made this happen,” said Mary Reeves, UF Health Shands Clinical Laboratory Services director. “They own this project, down to picking the evaluation process, instruments and design of the layout.”
The lab transitioned to new equipment from September 2016 to August 2017. The 13 new instruments include chemical analyzers (which measures different chemicals in biological samples), two CellaVisions (a microscopy device capable of taking images of all blood cells), two storage units capable of holding 5,000 samples apiece, and a complete automation system that connects everything.
“The fully automated Core Lab has the capacity to analyze three times the volume that we were processing before, allowing us to meet the growing needs of our institution,” said Gloria Wilkerson, UF Health Shands Clinical Laboratory Services Core Lab manager. “Our lab techs can now put more time into working on relationship-based treatment plans with our patients’ care teams.”
The Core Lab team also now can guarantee continuity of care even if a piece of equipment goes down. Additionally, lab technicians now have the capability to efficiently track
the specimens and orders they receive, reducing the risk of duplicate orders or tests.
“We have a world-class team of lab professionals,” said Diana Richardson, M.B.A., UF Health Shands Operations vice president. “Now they have world-class equipment to support the expert care they provide for our patients.”