Pathology specimen management system

Sunday, 02 July, 2000 | Supplied by:

The PathFinder Automated Tube Management System can automate pathology specimen handling to improve productivity and to reduce costs, error rates and risk of infection to laboratory staff.

With intelligent software and five independent robots PathFinder can automatically identify, sort and prepare over 500 blood specimens per hour. PathFinder's hands-free operation removes any potential human error inherent in the manual sorting and splitting of blood specimens.

PathFinder's automatic operation confirms arrival of the specimen in the laboratory, reduces specimen splitting error rates, produces correctly labelled duplicate tubes, racks tubes for analysis, double-checks all requested tests have been performed, racks tubes for storage and enables efficient retrieval of stored tubes for add-on tests.

The system is easy to install and commission, integrates easily with existing work practices, prevents human contact with potentially infectious specimens and frees staff from routine tasks.

PathFinder accommodates existing laboratory practices including the use of different types of collection tubes, use of various analyser racks, use of cap colours to represent different specimen types, requirement for different sample volumes to suit particular tests and priority sampling in the case of insufficient specimen collection.

Uncapping, splitting and transporting of tubes is performed via robotics and primary and duplicate tubes are delivered capped to further reduce chances of potential infection. The samples are processed in an enclosed environment and pipette tips are hygienically and automatically disposed of.

PathFinder can accommodate up to five different duplicate tube types and duplicate tubes are automatically labelled with user selection of patient demographics and/or episode information.

PathFinder's software, in association with a LIMS, provides the ability to generate sophisticated productivity and error reports. PathFinder can identify collection errors such as insufficient sample collected, clots, wrong tube type, etc. PathFinder's confirmation of specimen receipt enables the recording of transport efficiency (time collected to time received in laboratory) and total sample analysis time (from laboratory receipt to result).

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