Automated Blood Sciences Laboratory Opens at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham
31 May 2012

The University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust has opened a brand new automated blood sciences laboratory at the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham. Equipped with state-of-the-art Roche analytical platforms and track system, the new laboratory ensures a very efficient workflow and will reduce turnaround times (TAT) for routine, high throughput work.

The track system consists of two cobas® 8000 platforms (one with two cobas c 701 chemistry modules and two cobas e 602 immunoassay modules and the other with one cobas c 701 and two cobas e 602 modules), a MODULAR PRE-ANALYTICS module and a cobas p 501/701 post-analytical unit for automated sample storage and retrieval.

“The fully automated track system with pre and post analytics has eliminated the need for manual transfer and storage of samples once they are loaded on the system”, explains Laboratory Manager, Chris Gaskin. “The cobas 8000 platforms are designed for high throughput and the whole Roche solution has helped us to be more LEAN in our processes and is much more TAT efficient for our high workloads.”

“The whole implementation process has gone smoothly and everything was delivered on target” he continues. “We have been extremely happy with the support we have received from Roche. Our on-site laboratory coordinator from Roche has been very committed and hardworking, and Roche has also been involved in staff training, which has been thorough and practical. They even took our sample reception team leaders to another site to get some hands-on experience prior to our own system going live. This really helped to increase their confidence and is an excellent way to train people.”

The laboratory also has a standalone cobas p 512 module for automated sample receipt. “In the next few months, we aim to introduce a pneumatic sample delivery system and ward order communications throughout the hospital”, Chris concludes. “When a test is requested on the ward, a barcode label will be printed automatically. Then, when samples arrive in the laboratory, they will be loaded directly onto the cobas p 512. The system will register receipt on LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System) and then sort the samples into appropriate racks, depending on their destination. This will eliminate the need for paperwork, allowing the process to be entirely electronic from request to result for the very first time. It will streamline sample reception significantly and will further reduce turnaround times.”

For further information about cobas® 8000 and Roche solutions for pre- and post analytics, please click on the request information link below.

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Sonia Nicholas
Clinical Diagnostics Editor