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Thomas Jefferson University Hospital adopts new automated laboratory

PHILADELPHIA Thomas Jefferson University Hospital (TJUH) is advancing its laboratory testing services with new state-of-the-art equipment from Roche Diagnostics designed to help labs increase their testing capacity and deliver reliable results with greater efficiency. The high-volume, automated system allows patient blood samples to pass through processing, analysis, storage and inventory in a completely cybernated process.

The new equipment will enable the laboratory to handle the increased demand for diagnostic tests while expediting the analytic process. The capacity of individual analyzers to process blood samples will increase from 90 samples per hour to 300 per hour with the new technology.

TJUH initially expects to process approximately 3,000 to 4,000 specimens daily and provide about two to three million individual test results per year. The system will handle the vast majority of the most common laboratory tests run by the hospital.

"These state-of-the-art laboratory automation solutions are perfectly aligned with Jefferson's overall vision to constantly improve healthcare with high-quality patient care and safety," said James M. Maratea, Administrative Director for Laboratory Medicine at TJUH. "What's more, the high volumes of testing we do here make it essential that we have the highest-capacity and most efficient laboratory equipment available."

The Roche system combines three components: the Roche MODULAR PRE-ANALYTICS sample handling system, the cobas 6000 analyzer series, which includes the cobas c 501 and cobas e 601 modular chemistry and immunochemistry analyzers, and the cobas p 701 post-analytical sample storage and retrieval unit..

This is only the second installation of the Roche cobas p 701 sample storage and retrieval unit in North America, and the first in this region to adopt an automated laboratory that includes a Roche storage-and-retrieval system. Thomas Jefferson University faculty will work with the team from Roche Diagnostics to optimize this system.

The system has a mechanical "track-like" conveyer belt controlled by a central station that manages each patient sample individually. The blood sample travels along the belt, where it's labeled, centrifuged, divided into additional tubes, if necessary, and sent to analyzers. The samples are then sent to refrigeration units to be filed for possible later use.

The refrigerated post-analytical unit stores 27,000 test tubes, automatically retrieves them when additional testing is needed, and automatically discards tubes that are no longer needed. This ensures reliable and consistent results for repeat testing.

"This solution will have a significant impact on lab productivity and efficiency," said Stephen C. Peiper, M.D., Peter A. Herbut Professor and Chair of the Department of Pathology, Anatomy and Cell Biology at Thomas Jefferson University. "The new equipment will not only enhance the staff and hospital's performance even more, but also put Jefferson at the forefront of laboratory innovation."

This project is just one of several collaborations between Jefferson and Roche in the advancement of personalized healthcare for patients, including the implementation of new diagnostic tools that help physicians in the early detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancers and other diseases.


Contact: Steve Graff
Thomas Jefferson University

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