Surat Thani Hospital is the main hospital of Surat Thani Province in Thailand. It houses 660 beds and a Medical Education Center that trains doctors for the Faculty of Medicine of Thammasat University.
As a public hospital, it is required to analyze numerous samples for diagnostic and disease monitoring purposes. It is estimated that the hospital laboratory conducts around 1.5 million tests per year. A wide range of different analyses is conducted, requiring many different reagents. It is vital that a continuous supply of all the necessary reagents is maintained to avoid any unnecessary delay in the provision of test results.
It is vital that an accurate record of all reagents being used and delivered is maintained to know how much each reagent is available in-house at any time. With numerous analyses being conducted all the time, maintaining such an inventory is a challenging and time-consuming task. The task is compounded by the need to ensure that reagents are used in the correct order to avoid keeping reagents beyond their expiry date.
On switching to the Atellica Solution analytical system, the Surat Thani Hospital benefited from a huge gain in the availability of laboratory staff as the immense burden of manually maintaining the inventory was removed. The Atellica Solution Inventory Manager1 uses barcodes on all reagents to provide ongoing, automated real-time tracking of each reagent that is used and supplied.
Atellica Solution with Inventory Manager
The Atellica® Solution2 provides scalable, automation-ready immunoassay and clinical chemistry analyzers featuring patented bidirectional magnetic sample-transport technology. The broad assay menu combined with the flexibility to create over 300 customizable configurations, means the system can be readily used to meet a wide range of clinical testing requirements.
Used in conjunction with the Inventory Manager, it provides real-time status of the levels of stock of reagents and consumables across multiple laboratory locations. It thus enables streamlined workflow management across several teams to ensure effective usage and restocking of supplies. This automated manual inventory management facility obviates the need for manual checks, freeing up laboratory staff to be more productive. Specifically, the Atellica Solution saved 54% of total time invested per month in inventory management. The Atellica Solution Inventory Manager thus enables improved use of resources and personnel time, resulting in cost savings, and improved laboratory quality.
Atellica Inventory Manager uses automatic detection of stock usage and prioritizes utilization according to the earliest expiry date. In addition, auto adjustment to the required inventory level is now possible. A rapid inventory check, achieved through scanning reagent boxes in the refrigerator, eliminates the need for manual counting and simplifies inventory check-in, check-out, consumption tracking, and ordering using cloud-based software and radio frequency identification (RFID) technology.
The software ensures that optimal inventory levels are maintained at all times by initiating automated order processes based on stock usage and other customized criteria. The system can be applied to any reagent or consumable in the laboratory, providing complete control.
At the Surat Thani Hospital, inventory management had always been conducted manually. In addition to the ongoing demand on resources to undertake the necessary inventory checks, errors were starting to be identified.
These errors in inventory checks were most likely a consequence of staff being under pressure to complete the inventory assessment as quickly as possible in order to spend as little time as possible away from productive tasks. This highlighted the need to find a solution for maintaining the inventory more easily.
The extensive manual work of managing the inventory was felt particularly hard at Surat Thani Hospital, where there was already limited laboratory staff available to meet the vast testing demand.
To address this workflow issue, Atellica Solution with Inventory Manager1,2 was installed at the hospital. This eliminated the need for much of the previously required manual labor, enabling staff to focus on processing the clinical samples sent to them for analysis and provide clinicians with the results more quickly. As a result, this case study observed a 66% improvement in productivity among hospital laboratory technologies.
All new reagents and consumables delivered to the hospital were pre-labeled with an RFID barcode that could be scanned easily. This enabled automated check-in as the software updated the lot numbers, expiration dates and date received. The records were automatically updated as products were used, so it was clear when stock levels required replenishing. Furthermore, there was no longer the risk of reagents being wasted due to being stored beyond the expiry date.
Atellica Solution with Inventory Manager provided Surat Thani Hospital with double benefit; it freed up staff resources to focus on sample testing and streamlined the inventory management process, removing the risk of errors during inventory checks. As a consequence, Atellica achieved a 9 out of 10 net promoter score. This customer experience metric reflects the success the solution had within the customer’s unique hospital setting and indicates the potential rewards it could have applied elsewhere.
This demonstrates how the multiple features of the Atellica solution can address workflow issues in the laboratory. The system has the potential to transform care delivery in laboratory diagnostics; it can save time, improve productivity and reduce manual interference with its associated risk of error and artifacts.
- Siemens. https://www.siemens-healthineers.com/en-us/diagnostics-it/laboratory-inventory-management/atellica-inventory-manager
- Siemens. https://www.siemens-healthineers.com/en-uk/integrated-chemistry/systems/atellica-solution-analyzers