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Total Lab Automation a reality in LUMC
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Total Lab Automation a reality in LUMC

A modern, largely robotized laboratory that connects departments and processes sample material quickly, safely and accurately according to standardized procedures. Too good to be true? It is already operational at the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC). The current generation of robots is compliant and made to help people. With that in mind, the LUMC has been working for years on a core lab that is sophisticated, well equipped and, moreover, future-proof. This was not an easy task because several laboratories had to be merged. And, on top of that, it was also necessary to redesign the diagnostic process and the laboratory information system (LIS), standardize the method and develop a new quality system.
‘That cockpit has been a golden opportunity, not only in terms of the learning curve of all those involved but also in terms of interaction and communication’ 2 LABinsights | November 2018 November 2018 | LABinsights 3 Total Lab Automation a reality in LUMC Conceptual thinking makes the core chemistry laboratory future-proof. SPECIAL EFFICIENCY Editorial staff: Wouter Oude Groothuis | Photography: Marco Vellinga A modern, largely robotized laboratory that connects departments and processes sample material quickly, safely and accurately according to standardized procedures. Too good to be true? It is already operational at the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC). The current generation of robots is compliant and made to help people. With that in mind, the LUMC has been working for years on a core lab that is sophisticated, well equipped and, moreover, future-proof. This was not an easy task because several laboratories had to be merged. And, on top of that, it was also necessary to redesign the diagnostic process and the laboratory information system (LIS), standardize the method and develop a new quality system. Practices in the Danish laboratories were a source of inspiration during this trying process. Prof. Christa Cobbaert EuSpLM said, “The Danes are at the forefront of lab robotization in Europe. Our “exploration” there was a real eye-opener. While we were talking about connecting departments, they were already talking about connecting hospitals. It was there that I became convinced of the feasibility of our approach, both in terms of the process and with regard to the ability of our employees to adapt and learn.” Delft System Engineering Cobbaert has been affiliated with the Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine department since the end of 2009. She fulfills the function of Head of Department and Laboratory Specialist in Clinical Chemistry. Since her appointment, she has been working on the centralization of outpatient blood sampling and the integration of the various 24/7 laboratory units. The focus was on structure-function relationships — a processbased approach built around Delft systems engineering — and ultimately resulted in a functional design of its own. Cobbaert explains, “The lab has been set up in such a way that both patient research and scientific research can be facilitated with the same infrastructure — with a workable, uniform and standardized process in mind.” However, this turned out to be difficult because an initial inventory showed that the existing processes functioned suboptimally and that the track and trace process was insufficiently guaranteed. Cobbaert continued, “It was clear that there had to be a holistic approach, aimed at big-picture thinking. For this reason, in the proposed European tender, we only specified the functionality and left the specific details open. A competitive dialogue has been chosen. Manufacturers were given the opportunity to complete our design, taking into account 396 absolute requirements and 10 interchangeable criteria. This led to unique partnerships and has been very instructive for all parties.” Phased Approach The first major change was the establishment of the central outpatient phlebotomy department, the CBA. On average, more than 700 patients are seen there every day, accounting for approximately 1,250 vials of blood. In addition to drawing blood, performance tests are carried out, training assistants learn WW The nerve center of the core lab is the ‘cockpit’, similar to the control room of a factory. SPECIAL EFFICIENCY This article is from LABinsights www.labinsights.nl ©maXus media
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