The clinical laboratory at Dorminy Medical Center installed the Beckman Coulter DxC 700 AU clinical chemistry analyzer in June 2017 to meet growing test demands. SelectScience® speaks to David Davis, regional director of laboratory services to find out more.
Briefly introduce yourself and your place of work
DD: I am the regional director of laboratory services for five rural hospital laboratories and provide oversight for 17 physician office laboratories. I started working at Dorminy Medical Center in 2006 and began managing the lab in 2010. In 2012, I assumed the duties of managing our radiology department and laboratory until November 2015. In April of 2016, I became the regional director of laboratory services for ER Hospitals management group based in Salt Lake City, Utah. ER Hospitals focuses on managing and helping hospitals maintain sustainability through a hands-on approach and working with local communities. The hospital laboratories in Georgia are Dorminy Medical Center, Irwin County Hospital, Candler County Hospital, Emanuel Medical Center and Washington County Regional Medical Center. We perform about 600,000 procedures a year and have 65 lab professionals.
When did you install the Beckman Coulter DxC 700 AU system in your laboratory and why did you select this particular instrument?
DD: Dorminy Medical Center installed the Beckman Coulter DxC 700 AU in June of 2017 after using the AU480 and AU680 for the previous five years. The AU’s have proven to be a reliable, accurate analyzer and the cost is affordable for our laboratory. Along with the service and support of Beckman Coulter and our growing needs, we believe the Beckman Coulter DxC 700 AU is the perfect fit for our laboratory.
How does this technology help you to meet the objectives of your department and help to improve patient care?
DD: The reliability of the Beckman Coulter DxC 700 AU is great. We only see our Beckman Coulter service rep when preventive maintenance is due; we have virtually no downtime. The new software installed on the DxC 700 AU reduces the learning curve for techs that have worked on other Beckman Coulter chemistry analyzers. Besides the new software, some other advantages with the Beckman Coulter DxC 700 AU are: being able to load reagents without stopping the analyzer, and the use of the STAT wheel that moves more critical testing to be processed first, without interrupting workflow.
In combination with our immunoassay analyzer, UniCel DxI 600, the average turnaround time for cardiac testing is 27 minutes. Our first concern is for our patients and our community. The large test menu on the DxC 700 AU allows us to provide same day testing for our patients that would otherwise have to go to a larger facility, causing them an inconvenience. The accuracy and precision are something we can all appreciate as our standard deviation index (SDI) for PT testing is consistently well below 2.0.
Along with the service and support of Beckman Coulter and our growing needs, we believe the Beckman Coulter DxC 700 AU is the perfect fit for our laboratory
Dorminy Medical Center
What advice do you have for other laboratory managers and directors who are looking to install this automated platform?
DD: Installation was smooth; no problems were encountered, and we experienced no interruption in workflow. The application specialists were professional and always put patient testing ahead of installation. They have an understanding of laboratory obligations and are helpful in every respect. I recommend following Beckman Coulter’s advice of having one or two techs trained before installation. Installation should not be a concern for any laboratory looking at implementing the Beckman Coulter DxC 700 AU.
How do you think your clinical laboratory service will continue to evolve over the next few years?
DD: I think hospital laboratories must decide if they want or need to offer just support testing for other hospital departments or if they want to reach out to the physicians and patients in their community. Outreach requires a lot of hard work and support from lab staff and support from the hospital administration; which are two things we have at Dorminy Medical Center and with ER Hospitals management group. I believe in reaching out to the physicians as it helps our patients; no long commutes for testing, a more personal approach and the care and comfort patients receive.
There is a lot to consider in making this decision. No matter which scenario you choose, you need a company that not only sells you equipment but “partners” with you and understands your goals. Beckman Coulter has been this partner for me. The second factor to consider is the goals of the hospital and the needs of your community. Departments need to communicate with administration and work together to accomplish these goals.