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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Lab modernization delivers expanded, faster test results for patients and physicians

INDIANAPOLIS – A new collaboration between two medical groups will expand the lab capabilities at Franciscan St. Francis Health-Indianapolis, adding new technology and automation to bolster diagnostic testing for the hospital.

PCL Alverno and Beckman Coulter have installed a fully automated system that manages lab processes at Franciscan St. Francis more efficiently. The system has been integrated gradually over the last several months.

“The modernization of the laboratory is important because it makes everyone’s job more efficient and enables technologists to provide results with greater accuracy,” said Debra Berner, Alverno Laboratory Director at Franciscan St. Francis. “This increases staff safety by eliminating the need to handle specimens, and the automation frees up technologists to handle more complex specimens and cases.”

The Hammond, Indiana-based Alverno provides more than 750 types of tests in clinical and anatomic pathology for Franciscan Alliance’s 13 hospitals, other hospitals, physicians and research groups. Alverno processes more than 23 million tests each year.

The Indianapolis hospital is the first within Franciscan Alliance to deploy the new system.

“Instruments are the core driver of any lab operation, said Sam Terese, Alverno’s president and chief operating officer. “We have not just overhauled our labs with new laboratory technology solutions – we also have worked closely with Beckman Coulter to apply deep process advancements to ensure we are equipped to offer higher levels of service to patients and physicians.”

Automation long has been regarded as integral for labs to achieve greater efficiency, accuracy, standardization, quality and patient safety.

“With automation, labs can more effectively meet high demands while reducing costs and maintaining quality,” Terese said. “It is a necessary option for labs seeking to remain competitive.”

The Franciscan St. Francis lab will formally unveil its automated system and new instrumentation at a ribbon-cutting Friday, May 29. Hospital leaders and executives from Alverno and Beckman Coulter will join lab staff, who will demonstrate how the system works.