Healthwise: Lab Analyzer

By: Stephanie Satchell Email
By: Stephanie Satchell Email

October 19, 2011

Inside the new Martha Jefferson hospital sits a new machine. It is helping staff save time, offers faster results and is more efficient when testing a patient's blood.

The lab analyzer will process all types of blood tests. It starts with a patient's blood sample and a barcode.

"The analyzer is going to read that barcode and it knows what to do based on what we tell it from the computer," said Tina Murphy, a MJH Chemistry Section Leader.

The lab workers can order multiple tests from just one test tube. The sample is placed in a drawer and the machine does the rest; it removes the cap from the test tube, pours the blood into a cup and sends those new samples to get tested.

"Before everything had to be done by hand," said Murphy. "We had to take the sample, pour it, put it into a cup and then into an analyzer. All that is done for us, now."

The new technology is helping patients just as much as it is helping staff.

"By having the analyzer, it takes care of all the work that we would actually have to do. The sample and results go up faster," said Murphy.

The barcode on the new system allows staff to locate samples easily, so if your doctor calls for more tests, they can just plug in your barcode number, pull out your sample and run a new test in a matter of minutes.

It is something that would have taken two to three times as long without the lab analyzer machine.

The new lab analyzer is also safer for lab staff because they do not have to handle the blood samples. It is also expected to save 10 minutes per sample, and with the lab working with 500 samples a day, that could save staff 83 minutes.

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