PETERBOROUGH – Peterborough Regional Health Centre has gone live with a $2 million automated medical laboratory. “We are thrilled to have completed this major upgrade to our lab after months of planning, preparation and implementation,” said Bernard Schaan (pictured), manager, laboratory services at PRHC.
“Automated technology will provide safer, more efficient and more reliable patient care. We expect it will decrease test turnaround times by 26 percent, which means faster diagnoses for patients as well.”
Dr. Peter McLaughlin, Interim President and CEO of the hospital, says the launch of the new technology was an opportunity to celebrate the investment that has put the hospital on the “right track as a regional health centre.”
“I am very proud of our lab leadership and our team of 100 lab professionals, who have worked tremendously hard to bring this project to fruition, and who will continue providing exceptional care, enhanced with the addition of this updated technology,” says Dr. McLaughlin.
Automation will also reduce the handling of patient samples. Bedside identification technology means each sample will be tagged with a bar code linked directly to the patient it came from.
Dr. Mary Ferguson Paré, chair of the hospital’s Board of Directors, says the automated technology is an important contribution to the quality of patient care the hospital is proud to provide.
“It also is, of course, efficient,” she says. “It really allows us to do a great deal more work.”
Some of that work includes biopsy specimens, throat swabs being sent by courier from the Ross Memorial Hospital after a merger of the two hospitals’ labs was approved in December.
The lab at the Peterborough hospital operates around the clock and performs 1.5 million diagnostic tests annually across the hospital and to several partner hospitals in the Central East Local Health Integration Network. These lab test results lead to 85 percent of patient diagnoses.
Dr. Ferguson Paré says Peterborough’s hospital, with the new automated lab, has “lots of capacity” to help their neighbouring hospitals and improve the quality of patient care throughout the region.