Samples reach the automated laboratory from laboratories and physician offices around the region. Each specimen is entered into the computer in the laboratory or entered directly by the physician via Lifespan's LifeLinks system.
The computer produces bar code stickers for each sample, identifying the sample and the patient. Robotic machines centrifuge each sample, divide the sample into additional tubes if necessary, perform the tests, generate results and file each specimen in a storage unit. Critical test results are automatically repeated. If the physician orders additional tests on the same sample, the lab is able to retrieve the sample robotically and send it back for more testing.
At each stage in the process, the bar code on every test tube and the tube's fluid level are automatically checked to make sure the sample is being handled correctly. If at any stage in the process the tube's bar code or fluid level doesn't match the computer records, the tube is pulled off the system and the computer notifies the laboratory staff that an error has occurred. The computerized system is so precise it can perform dozens of tests on a single patient's sample and locate any sample among hundreds. The accuracy and efficiency of the process increases patient safety because the laboratory staff no longer prepares, tests and retrieves samples by hand. This reduces the likelihood of human error and results in more accurate and reliable test results.
For more information, call our customer service line at 1-800-980-4244.