Friarage Hospital improves workflow for chemistry and immunoassay testing

11 Oct 2010

Friarage Hospital in Northallerton Yorkshire, part of the South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has installed the UK’s first VersaCell sample management system combining chemistry and immunoassay analysers from Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics.

The VersaCell system automates the testing process between chemistry and immunoassay analysers, saving manual loading tasks and streamlining workflow to save time.

With over half of the samples received from outpatients and GP practices arriving after 3.30pm, the sample workload pressure facing the department increases towards the end of the day. Prior to the VersaCell installation any sample queries or barcode errors impacted on this late afternoon sample influx and members of staff were typically looking for between 30-40 samples every day. This number has now been reduced to just five or six.

“The time spent previously looking for samples has been recovered and this is a big help,” states Derek Parrington, Operations Manager of the Blood Sciences Department at Friarage Hospital. “The software can instantly tell us what the sample status is and we can easily see if there are any outstanding in house test requests. The software also alerts us straightaway is there is a barcode reading error. This means we can give issues attention in real time throughout the day rather than it impacting onto the end of day shift.”

He continues, “Turnaround times for A&E have also improved. We used to have to do a lot of chasing to deliver the results and manually walk samples between chemistry and immunoassay analysers. Now a result is gained in just 18 minutes from loading onto the VersaCell, meaning that the result is back with A&E in around half an hour.”

Abigail Wynne-Jones, Immunoassay Product Manager at Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics said, “The VersaCell sample management system has allowed Friarage Hospital to better manage samples during its typically busy periods. By combining ADVIA Centaur XP and ADVIA 1800 with CentraLink Version 13.0 the pressure in the Blood Sciences Department has eased, smoothing sample workflow for chemistry and immunoassay testing.”


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