Streamlining pathology sample handling in UK hospital labs

NEW SOFTWARE to improve the way samples are handled in pathology laboratories is about to be tested in the UK.

The new Automated Sample Receipting (ASR) system has been developed by InterSystems for its Ensemble platform, and is to be and implemented by Beckman Coulter on its first trial site at an NHS hospital laboratory in the first quarter of 2013.

Ensemble is described as a platform for the ‘integration of connectable applications’.

The new automated sample receipting approach enables an end-to-end pathology service that is more streamlined than current processes, says InterSystems.

The new development came about after Beckman Coulter reviewed various options to eliminate the manual booking of samples, and chose Ensemble to integrate data management and laboratory information management (Lims) systems.

Samples will be automatically recorded, rather than having their barcodes manually scanned by laboratory personnel.

By reducing labour-intensive steps like this, Beckman Coulter reckons a single NHS hospital laboratory will be able to process up to about 3000 sample tubes each day – a ‘significant’ improvement in productivity, it says, although we haven’t been able to ascertain just how much of an improvement this is supposed to represent or how many tubes the companies believe a lab would process by existing methods.

No doubt the first real-life real-lab trials, which are expected in the next few weeks, will provide more enlightenment.



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