TOTAL LAB AUTOMATION: A KEY TO EFFICIENT LABORATORY SERVICES AND BETTER PATIENT CARE
Objective: To compare totally automated intra-laboratory turn-around time, test volume, frequency of errors and work flow with pre automation error.
Material & Methods: A cross-sectional survey based on Total Laboratory Automation work flow was carried out. Mean, median and 90th centile of six clinical chemistry parameters, workload and frequency of errors were compared between pre and post Total Laboratory Automation period. Mann-Whitney U test was used to assess the difference in intra laboratory turnaround time.
Results: The median intra laboratory turnaround time of both urgent and routine samples decreased by 52% and 22% respectively after implementation of Total Laboratory Automation. Significant difference (p<0.05) was found in intra laboratory turnaround time between pre and post Total Laboratory Automation samples. In the 90th percentile turnaround time chart, a 69% and 30% reduction was seen in the processing of urgent and routine samples respectively. About 19% increase in test volume and a significant reduction (20%) in frequency of errors were recorded following Total Laboratory Automation. Over all working of lab had improved.
Conclusion: Total lab automation improves core laboratory performance. Thus, it makes laboratory services more effective, efficient and error free.
Key Words: Total lab automation, Turn-around time, Laboratory efficiency.