CCMH Laboratory holds Open House on April 21
GILLETTE, WY - Exciting new changes in the Laboratory will have a very positive impact on patient care at Campbell County Health. The newly remodeled and equipped Lab will be officially unveiled at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 1 pm on Wednesday, April 21. Hours for the Open House are 10 am-4 pm. The Lab is located on the main floor of the hospital.
The recently completed remodel increased the square footage slightly, but made significant improvements in the way the exiting space was used. Demands for chemistry testing alone have increased from 140,000 tests per year in 2000 to over 770,000 tests in 2009, making the $900,000 remodel a high priority. Lab staff created the design for the remodel, which includes more blood draw rooms, with one designed especially for children. New computerized status boards give staff information on exactly where a specimen is in the testing process in real time.
The centerpiece of the new Lab is the automation equipment. Staff evaluated several different vendors, choosing a system manufactured by Roche (www.roche-diagnostics.us). The new Roche automation line is the first full chemistry automation line in Wyoming. The automation line removes multiple manual tasks in the testing process, decreasing the chances of human error and exposure to pathogens, while improving quality and efficiency. Before automation, a Medical Lab Scientist entered blood specimen information into the computer, waited for the blood to clot, walked the sample to a centrifuge machine for preparation, uncapped the tube and poured samples for testing, walked the sample to the analyzer machine, and finally, verified the results and released the test information to the physician requesting the test. Automation performs all those tasks, so the specimen enters the automation line and doesn't have to be touched again until analysis is complete.
"It isn't about having more equipment than other labs, it's about keeping our patients and employees safe," says Lab Manager Lynn Todd. "We can now perform tests here that were previously sent out to other labs, and automating other tests that were previously done by hand."
Lynn estimates that the new system will eventually be able to handle five times the current workload, and there is room for expansion by adding equipment to the existing automation line.
CCMH provides laboratory services for hospital and long term care patients, CCMH affiliated clinics, many other local medical practices, and local veterinary clinics.