SMH Laboratory first in U.S. to use new test automating system

SMH Laboratory first in U.S. to use new test automating system

Thursday, October 04, 2018

SARASOTA (Oct. 4, 2018) – Sarasota Memorial Hospital’s Laboratory recently became the first in the U.S. to process the majority of its patient samples from beginning to end using a new, state-of-the–art total laboratory automation system from Siemens. Employing the Siemens Aptio by Inpeco automation solution, the SMH Laboratory performs chemistry, immunochemistry, coagulation and hematology analysis through a single input point.

The fully automated process helps improve the timeliness, accuracy and reliability of test results, explained SMH Laboratory Director Harold Vore. 

Approximately 70 percent of clinical decisions are based on laboratory test results. “Our Laboratory performs more than 2.6 million tests a year, which impact 3,000 lives on a daily basis, so ensuring prompt, reliable results is our team’s number one priority,” Vore said. 

Previously, the Laboratory processed tests through multiple inputs using various modalities. The new system allows the Laboratory to fully automate about 80 percent of its testing, including many of its most common tests, freeing up professional staff members to concentrate on the remaining 20 percent of samples, which typically come from acutely ill patients and require additional analysis and expertise. 

Responding to Growing Demand
The automated system also helps the Laboratory increase capacity, so it can continue meeting the needs of the region’s growing population. The number of tests the Laboratory conducts annually is anticipated to increase to 3.5 million over the next decade. 

Implementation of the new system required more than two years of planning, design, installation and testing.  The collaboration between Sarasota Memorial’s staff, Siemens, Sysmex, Inpeco and J2 Solutions resulted in a fully functional automation system designed to eliminate waste and produce a highly accurate, standardized process. 

“I am very proud of our team for their unwavering focus on providing exceptional service to our patients throughout the implementation process,” Vore said. “We essentially changed out the majority of our testing platforms during a high-volume season without impacting patient care. It took a team effort, and everyone’s performance was phenomenal."

Accreditation Re-affirms Quality
The project is one of several recent accomplishments by SMH’s Laboratory team. SMH also was informed that it has earned re-accreditation from The Accreditation Committee of the College of American Pathologists (CAP) based on the results of a recent on-site inspection. Sarasota Memorial is one of more than 8,000 CAP-accredited facilities worldwide. During the accreditation process, designed to ensure the highest standard of care for all laboratory patients, inspectors examined the Laboratory’s records and procedure quality control for the preceding two years. CAP inspectors also examined Laboratory staff qualifications, equipment, facilities, safety program and record, and overall management.

Sarasota Memorial also has expanded and improved services, purchasing updated equipment and increasing space at its freestanding Emergency Room and Health Care Center in North Port.

About Sarasota Memorial 
Sarasota Memorial Health Care System is a regional referral center offering Southwest Florida’s greatest breadth and depth of care, with more than 900,000 patient visits a year. Sarasota Memorial’s flagship 829-bed acute care hospital has been recognized repeatedly as one of the nation’s largest, and best, with superior patient outcomes and a complete continuum of outpatient services– from urgent care clinics and physician groups, laboratory and diagnostic imaging centers, to home health and skilled nursing & rehabilitation. SMH is the only hospital in Florida to have consistently earned the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ highest five-star quality award since the rating system launched in 2016.