New technology comes to KGH Labs

News / Technology
By Meaghan Quinn

Automated Chemistry Track will speed up patient test results

New technology is coming to KGH that will raise the bar on how we deliver patient care. Our Automated Chemistry Track will streamline how patient specimens are tested in our Clinical Laboratory.

 “Lab test results are used to make clinical decisions about admission, discharge and diagnosis for our patients, so it is important that the tests are completed quickly,” says Joyce deVette-McPhail, Director of Clinical Laboratories. “This automated track will allow for more predictable turnaround times for test results which will support timely decision making by our patients and their health care teams.”

When a specimen arrives in the labs it will first be inspected to ensure it meets the proper labeling and collecting requirements. From there, it will be loaded onto the automated track and sent along to a centrifuge where it will be rapidly rotated to separate the fluids for testing. Once this is complete, the specimen will automatically move along the track to the first instrument for testing. If additional tests are required it returns to the track and makes stops at all of the required testing instruments. Once all of the testing is complete, the results are sent back to the patient care floor and the specimen goes to a refrigerated storage unit in case any further tests are ordered. 

“Having the tracking and testing of a specimen automated means that our lab technologists are able to spend more of their time focusing on more complicated testing, which means more accurate results for our patients,” says deVette-McPhail. “As well, it makes for a safer work environment for our staff by eliminating the need for them to hold or open specimens.” 

First constructed in Italy and shipped to Canada, it took four transport trucks to deliver all of the pieces of the track to KGH. It was the first time that the company involved had ever constructed one within an existing and fully-operational facility. 

“This is a big investment in our clinical labs and preparing for and constructing the track has been a truly collaborative effort,” says deVette-McPhail. “This has required careful planning and teamwork from multiple departments including Facilities, Information Management and the Project Planning Office, as well patience and understanding from our core lab team who have had to continue to do their work around the building of this track.”

KGH is set to begin using the new Automated Chemistry Track on May 15.