|The Blood Science laboratory at the University Hospital |
Birmingham NHS Foundation Trus thas introduced
13 Roche serology assays, allowing them to offer
a 24/7 serology service.
The main Blood Science laboratory for the Trust is located at Selly Oak Hospital, with the Microbiology department and a satellite biochemistry laboratory on a different site at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. In the past, serology assays were performed in the Microbiology Department on a stand alone instrument. Test were batched and performed during the working hours of the microbiology laboratory (Monday to Friday between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm and Saturday mornings). Emergency transplant serology tests were provided on an on-call basis.
Recently, in preparation for the opening of the Trust’s new Queen Elizabeth Hospital, the working processes for Pathology were reviewed. “For pathology we have based our design for the laboratories on processes rather than on the usual single disciplines,” explained Blood Science Laboratory Manager, Chris Gaskin. “As a result, for the first time, all pathology disciplines will be together on the same site. Chemistry, immunoassay, serology, transfusion, blood counts/films and coagulation testing will be combined in an automated Blood Science Laboratory.
“We have already successfully consolidated haematinics and serology onto our existing Roche Modular platform in our main Biochemistry laboratory at Selly Oak,” Chris continued. “This has been extremely cost effective for us and has allowed us to increase our workload. The disciplines work very closely together, with Biochemistry responsible for the technical validation, and Haematology or Microbiology responsible for the clinical validation for haematinics or serology respectively.
“Bringing automated serology testing into Biochemistry has freed up Microbiology staff for other tasks and, since the main Biochemistry laboratory operates 24/7, there is no longer the need for transplant serology call-outs, added Chris. “In addition, there are back up analysers in the Biochemistry lab, for added security, and the Modular Pre-analytics module minimises sample handling and reduces the potential for human errors. Our turnaround times for serology assays have improved and connectivity, which is enabled through our Roche PSM data management system, allows permitted microbiology staff and consultants to view results immediately.
“Staff training is an ongoing part of the change in work processes,” concluded Chris. “This is delivered by Roche Product Specialists, Microbiology Consultants, BMS staff and the transplant nurses on an ongoing basis. Staff collaboration has been an important element in paving the way for good working relationships as we move to our new location.”
The Roche assays that have been consolidated onto the Roche Modular platform at Selly Oak include Hepatitis A assays (AntiHAV and Anti-HAV IgM), Hepatitis B assays (HBsAg II, Anti-HBs, Anti-HBc, Anti-HBc IgM, HBeAg and Anti-Hbe), Hepatitis C assay (Anti-HCV), HIV combi and TORCH assays (Rubella IgG, Toxo IgG and CMV IgG).