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Considerations for Lab Automation

Healthcare News | 2012-07-25

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According to the College of American Pathologists, up to 70 percent of medical decisions are based on laboratory test results.1 Growing test demand driven by an aging population has fueled increased adoption and use of laboratory automation. Siemens offers various products for lab automation, such as ADVIA® and StreamLAB® Automation Solutions, helping to maximize lab productivity through expanded capacity and enhanced automated lab management. Dave Hickey, CEO, Chemistry, Immunoassay, Automation and Diagnostics IT, Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics, in an article in the magazine American Laboratory, states that there are five areas which laboratories must consider before investing in automation to insure a positive impact on patient care: Integrating IT to maximize automation benefits, flexibility and adaptability, sustainability, tube management, and staffing.

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Automation makes the lab more sustainable and greener

Hickey states that automation and IT systems can no longer be regarded as separate laboratory Solutions. The availability and capabilities of an IT system should be researched thoroughly as part of an automation solution. Also, laboratories must ensure they select an automation solution that can be easily reconfigured to handle future demands. Automation can also make the lab more sustainable and “greener”. For instance, through automated tube management, the number of blood tubes collected from each patient can be decreased, enabling the lab to reduce material costs, decrease water use, and produce less waste. Finally, staffing is an important aspect when automating a laboratory. Hickey states that as automation can free up staff to take on other, often more demanding roles, it can lead to greater job satisfaction among technologists.

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1 College of American Pathologists. Resources for the Public.

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