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COPAN WASP® Lands at Prestigious Boston Medical Center

MURRIETA, Calif., Oct. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Boston Medical Center (BMC) in Boston Massachusetts, USA, recently took delivery of their long-awaited WASP® (Walk Away Specimen Processor), which includes a Gram SlidePrep™ Module.  The acquisition was concomitant with the inauguration of BMC's new clinical laboratory facilities, and BMC's ongoing efforts to optimize patient care by consolidating resources and improving workflow within the lab.  

Beverley Orr, MT(ASCP), BMC's Microbiology Technical Supervisor, faces the challenge of many microbiology managers and institutions: How to maintain a quality operation in an increasingly complex clinical and economic environment? One answer is clear: it is critical to efficiently deploy the skills of all members of the laboratory staff. "By automating our specimen processing, a person who would otherwise be doing routine planting and streaking (which the instrument can do perfectly well), could instead perform other tasks that require expertise, and as a result we improve that part of our patient care," said Orr.

The installation marks the 85th WASP® placement worldwide, and it will help BMC meet similar demands faced by other Microbiology labs around the world.  "In these challenging financial times when every laboratory is looking to maintain quality patient care while consolidating and controlling resources it is prudent to use every person and every tool more efficiently.  We can do this by creating better lines of productivity and by making services more cost effective. In particular, having a platform like WASP® paves the way for this kind of approach," said Dr. Nancy S. Miller, M.D., Medical Director of Clinical Microbiology & Molecular Diagnostics at BMC.

Miller, Orr and their team at BMC looked at several automated platforms before ultimately choosing WASP®.  "Apart from robust design we were concerned about how flexible and modular the instrumentation would be going forward. What is the instrument's capacity to change over time?  The modularity of the WASP® Software and Hardware was attractive. It allows for the addition of new features and functionality, such as the Gram SlidePrep, and other components so one does not have to change an entire instrument to add new capabilities.  We saw this flexibility as a huge advantage of WASP®," said Miller, who went on to discuss COPAN and her team's trust in the company to continue to innovate in specimen processing.  This year COPAN launched WASPLab™, a barcode driven conveyor-connected specimen processing system which utilizes robotic plate management to automate even more of the specimen workup process.

"Thinking forward to the future of Microbiology, we will see automatic track and feeding of specimens and plates, image analysis and automatic result management.  Based upon what I have seen in the market thus far if someone were to ask me which company could deliver such a solution for a fully automated lab, one certainly should think of COPAN," concluded Miller.

About COPAN Group

With a reputation for innovation in preanalytics, COPAN is the leading manufacturer of collection and transport systems in the world. COPAN offers a complete range of microbial sampling products used for traditional culture analysis and molecular diagnostic assays. For more information, visit

About Boston Medical Center

Boston Medical Center is a private, not-for-profit, 508-bed, academic medical center that is the primary teaching affiliate of Boston University School of Medicine. Committed to providing high-quality health care to all, the hospital offers a full spectrum of pediatric and adult care services including primary and family medicine and advanced specialty care with an emphasis on community-based care. Boston Medical Center offers specialized care for complex health problems and is a leading research institution.  Boston Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine are partners in the Boston HealthNet—15 community health centers focused on providing exceptional health care to residents of Boston. For more information, please visit

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