With the growing emphasis on patient safety, hospitals and practices are focusing on measures designed to prevent adverse events resulting from medical errors. Among other things, the environment should have the facilities and lab equipment to provide accurate, precise and timely laboratory results.
Hospital labs are therefore upgrading to the latest technology. For instance, a fully automated hematology analyzer allows a lab to deliver blood count test results of the highest quality while at the same time, significantly improving testing efficiency. Hematology analyzers are designed to reduce the incidence of human error in labs. These devices can offer accurate evaluations of various blood cell types and provide a complete blood cell count. They can also distinguish between various white blood cells. All this is performed in less than one minute.
Specimen mix-up is one of the most common causes of error. Present-day hematology analyzers avoid this through the use of bar codes. Positive sample identification begins from the moment the specimen is loaded. Some have hard drives that can accommodate up to 10,000 patient reports. Customized patient reports can be produced with patient identification and color histograms.
Quality control and quality improvement efforts are focused on the various stages of the testing process in labs. Leading manufacturers of lab equipment such as Abbott Diagnostics, Beckman Coulter, Mindray and QBC Diagnostics pay close attention to developing automated systems to reduce errors within the laboratory.