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Clinical Lab Upgrades Testing with Cutting-Edge Technology


Bright and shiny, computerized, automated equipment takes up much of our Clinical Lab at Southeast Hospital. The chemistry analyzers are used to test blood and body fluid samples.

The cutting-edge technology places SoutheastHEALTH among the best clinical labs in the nation’s top hospitals, says Gregg Staggs, local account executive with Roche Diagnostics, maker of the high-tech chemistry analyzers. Seven of the nation’s top 10 hospitals use this lab system, he adds.

Staggs was among four Roche executives who visited the main lab at our Hospital on Tuesday, Feb. 4, for a ribbon cutting ceremony. Roche has designated Southeast as a “regional reference site” and a model for other hospitals looking to upgrade their clinical labs.

Chemistry Analyzers

SoutheastHEALTH installed 11 chemistry analyzers, beginning last June and ending in November. Six were installed in the Hospital’s main lab, two in Southeast’s Emergency Department, one in the Southeast Cancer Center lab and two at the Southeast Health Center of Stoddard County in Dexter, Mo.

“Overall, this equipment has streamlined our chemistry testing,” says SoutheastHEALTH Laboratory Services Director Lauren Thomas, MSHCM, BS, MT (ASCP).

More Reliable, Faster Results

“Roche analyzers are more reliable, give faster results, have an automated process for aliquotting (centrifugation and sampling). They require less sample volume, which may eliminate the need to draw multiple blood samples,” explains Thomas.

“We’ve seen a great improvement in the turn-around time on blood tests,” she notes.

 This technology eliminates the need for lab techs to manually perform testing processes and improves safety by decreasing biohazard exposures to blood and body fluids, she says.

The new analyzers have the capacity to handle the growing volume of lab tests, she adds.  SoutheastHEALTH labs conducted nearly 570,000 chemistry tests in 2013. Thomas says the increased testing is the result of Southeast’s expanded healthcare system and outpatient services.

Clinical Lab ribbon cutting

SoutheastHEALTH Lab staff and Roche Diagnostics officially celebrated installation of new chemistry analyzers at a ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday, Feb. 4. Pictured from left: Roche officials Jeff Krauss, Ron DiNizo, Greg Staggs and Richard Ellzey; and Lab staff members Judy Peetz, Kim Fuller, pathologist Mark Hosler, MD, and Lauren Thomas, Laboratory Services director.

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