London’s hospitals deploy new super-lab
November 8, 2023
LONDON, Ont. – London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Heath Care London are celebrating the installation of a Total Laboratory Automation (TLA) system within the clinical microbiology laboratory. The innovative and automated technology will assist highly skilled laboratory professionals, build lab capacity and enhance advanced detection of infectious diseases, generating high-quality results even faster.
The TLA system is the first of its kind to be installed in the world, making London an international flagship site for innovation in clinical microbiology.
The clinical microbiology lab is part of the Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (PaLM), a joint venture of LHSC and St. Joseph’s providing a comprehensive range of routine and specialized testing and clinical consultation for patient care within Southwestern Ontario and beyond.
“The automated system will allow us to accommodate increased volumes in diagnostic testing and innovations within the system will help optimize productivity of staff, test accuracy, and the time required to report a test result,” says Dr. Jeff Fuller (pictured), division head, Clinical Microbiology. “The TLA system’s innovative technology will facilitate the transformation of laboratory operations, allowing for future growth and sustainability.”
The BD Kiestra 3rd Generation TLA system automates bacterial culture investigations on patient specimens to transform laboratory operations. With integrated work benches and a newly designed track mechanism, BD Kiestra solutions deliver end-to-end automated workflows from plate labelling to inoculation, incubation, imaging, culture reading and results reporting. Located at LHSC’s Victoria Hospital (VH), the state-of-the-art microbiology lab and TLA system will serve hundreds of thousands of patients across London and Southwestern Ontario every year.
The importance of lab infrastructure was evident throughout the pandemic as a key enabler for health system readiness and future pandemic preparedness. The Microbiology Program, part of PaLM, provides advanced diagnostic services to LHSC, St. Joseph’s, and several other regional partners in the referral area for detecting and treating infectious diseases.
“This investment supports our vision of transforming health together within our walls and for patients across our region,” says John French, clinical diagnostics executive, Laboratory Services and Medical Imaging at LHSC. “By making a targeted investment in the TLA system, LHSC is working to advance excellence in health care for better patient outcomes.”
“At St. Joseph’s, patient and resident safety is paramount and this state-of the-art technology is a vital investment in just that,” says Karen Perkin, vice president, Patient Care and chief nurse executive, St. Joseph’s. “With growing demands on microbiology services, there is a tremendous need for innovative solutions. St. Joseph’s is pleased to be part of this investment in London for faster, more accurate diagnoses, which will enhance the safety of those in our care, our community and our region.”
Notable features of the BD Kiestra 3rd Generation TLA system include a covered two-way track design that allows plates to travel through the system at a faster rate and a higher resolution 25-megapixel camera for advanced image quality. The high-resolution camera, in combination with BD artificial intelligence imaging applications, evaluates urine culture and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) screening plates. Samples with no growth can be resulted and released by imaging software without technologist intervention, allowing Medical Laboratory Technologists to focus more on complex tasks.
“We take great pride in our collaboration with London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Health Care London, to pioneer the installation of BD Kiestra 3rd Generation TLA System, making it the first of its kind in the world,” said Ivy Parks, president of BD-Canada. “This cutting-edge laboratory optimizes lab space to automate and streamline the workflow of medical lab professionals so they can focus on what matters most – serving patients across Southwestern Ontario.”
About London Health Sciences Centre
With roots going back a century and a half, London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC), is an award-winning, research-intensive acute tertiary and quaternary teaching hospital, one of only 14 such hospitals in Ontario. LHSC is also home to Children’s Hospital, one of just four acute tertiary care paediatric hospitals in the province. We are the cornerstone of care for many specialized programs and services in Western Ontario. As a major provider of emergency care, and through our community hospital mission, we also care for the more than 400,000 people who call London home as well as many in surrounding communities. With Ontario’s health system continuing its transformation, LHSC has an opportunity to inform it and to place itself at the locus of the regionalized health system by virtue of its size, specialized capabilities, research and education capacity and its current regional footprint. LHSC’s formal relationship and strong bond with Western University provide a mechanism for collaboration to enable the delivery of high-quality care through a process of continuous learning and research. LHSC is a 15,000-person strong team of physicians, staff and volunteers, collaborators, innovators and pioneers, meeting the care needs of those we serve and charting a course for the future. Learn more at www.lhsc.on.ca.
About St. Joseph’s Health Care London
Renowned for compassionate care, St. Joseph’s Health Care London is a leading academic healthcare centre in Canada dedicated to helping people live to their fullest by minimizing the effects of injury, disease and disability through excellence in care, teaching and research. Through partnership with Lawson Health Research Institute and our collaborative engagement with other healthcare and academic partners, St. Joseph’s has become an international leader in the areas of: chronic disease management; medical imaging; specialized mental healthcare; rehabilitation and specialized geriatrics; and surgery. St. Joseph’s operates through a wide range of hospital, clinic and long-term and community based settings, including: St. Joseph’s Hospital; Parkwood Institute; Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care; and the Southwest Centre for Forensic Mental Health Care. Learn more at sjhc.london.on.ca.
BD is one of the largest global medical technology companies in the world and is advancing the world of health by improving medical discovery, diagnostics and the delivery of care. The company develops innovative technology, services and solutions that help advance both clinical therapy for patients and clinical process for health care providers. BD and its 77,000 employees have a passion and commitment to help improve patient outcomes, improve the safety and efficiency of clinicians’ care delivery process, enable laboratory scientists to accurately detect disease and advance researchers’ capabilities to develop the next generation of diagnostics and therapeutics. BD has a presence in virtually every country and partners with organizations around the world to address some of the most challenging global health issues. BD helps customers enhance outcomes, lower costs, increase efficiencies, improve safety and expand access to healthcare. Learn more at bd.com.