(BPT) - Lab tests play a significant role in detecting, diagnosing and monitoring diseases. Clinical decisions are often guided by test results — results such as those that indicate whether a patient is having a heart attack or needs a medication adjustment, whether a patient is a candidate for surgery or chemotherapy, or results that determine whether a patient is healthy enough to return home from a hospital stay. Awaiting answers can scare and stress patients.
Producing test results quickly is increasingly challenging for laboratories. The aging baby boomer population sends more samples to the laboratory than previous generations; yet, the number of workers available to process samples is decreasing. There is a critical shortage of skilled laboratory workers to process such samples. Lab managers consequently have to find new ways to deliver patient results efficiently.
“Laboratories are facing major challenges: staffing shortages, budget constraints and consolidation with other laboratories as health systems grow — while the number of samples they’re expected to run is increasing rapidly,” said Andy Olen, senior vice president of Laboratory Diagnostics for North America at Siemens Healthineers. “The Atellica Solution was engineered with advancements never before seen in the clinical laboratory to address testing challenges with greater speed and efficiency to improve productivity so physicians can have their patients’ results faster.”
The Atellica Solution produces results for the most common tests run in the laboratory: pregnancy tests, blood glucose, electrolytes, hormones, lipids and many more. Laboratory staff now spends less time maintaining the analyzers thanks to built-in quality control features that are important for delivering accurate results.
This solution is a significant innovation for laboratories that frequently run emergency samples such as those used for cardiac emergencies. Laboratories will often dedicate staff and instruments to priority samples to expedite results. Staff can now process patient samples by priority order with technology that transports each sample individually so that emergency samples can cut to the front of the line. Dedicated equipment and staff to process emergency samples quickly is no longer necessary.
For some patients, the amount of blood that needs to be drawn to run a test is more important than the speed of their results. Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, one of the oldest and most distinguished pediatric hospitals in the United States, became the first children’s hospital worldwide to install the Atellica Solution. As one of the nation's most well-respected children’s hospitals, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center must continue to look at ways that the laboratory can improve a patient’s experience. This solution will allow the hospital to complete its routine testing panels while using a smaller sample size.
Smaller sample sizes also are of significance to patients with compromised bone marrow function, such as cancer patients. Young red blood cells are released from bone marrow. Patients undergoing extended hospital stays sometimes have their blood drawn daily, which in many cases for these sick patients is more frequently than their bodies can replenish. Siemens Healthineers designed this solution with the patient in mind, incorporating technologies that produce sensitive and precise results from very small sample volumes.
Siemens Healthineers provides more than 10 billion diagnostic tests to labs globally each year and built the Atellica Solution to deliver what laboratories worldwide need to modernize their operations. Laboratories across the U.S. are resoundingly enthusiastic about implementing the state-of-the-art technology.