Professor Dr. med. Matthias Nauck
The time saving factor was the main reason for the decision to set up the exceptional pipeline Tempus600 at the Greifswald Universitätsmedizin, Northern Germany in May 2014.
It is a dedicated system for transporting blood samples and connects the emergency department directly with the laboratory.
“It cuts 30 minutes off the total time from when the sample is taken until the result of the analysis is ready. That's really a significant time saving leading to better and earlier decisions for the benefit of patients. Ultimately it could save lives,” says the laboratory manager, Professor Dr. med. Matthias Nauck.
Prof. Nauck became aware of the Tempus600 system through an article in a medical magazine.
He became interested in the remarkable speed of the system but could not understand that the samples did not require packaging. The sample tubes were simply sent in an ordinary rack.
“I contacted the manufacturer, Timedico A/S, for further information, and we arranged to meet at a conference in Germany. Later I visited two Danish hospitals where Tempus600 had been successfully implemented,” says Prof. Nauck.
Convinced of the system’s advantages and reliability, Prof. Nauck started the process of raising money for the investment, and in May 2014 the hospital in Greifswald could inaugurate the first Tempus600 system in Germany – a 300-metre tube specifically for transporting blood samples from the emergency department to the laboratory.
“Our Tempus600 has been running 4000 samples a month since it was installed, and has proved highly reliable,” states Prof. Nauck.
Before Tempus600 was introduced, two employees shared the task of transporting the blood samples from the emergency department to the lab - daily from 6am to 9pm. They are now released for other tasks.
Today, after a tube is placed in the pipeline feeder at the emergency department by the person taking the sample, it takes only 30 seconds before it arrives at the lab where it is connected to the Siemens Flex Lab System. Here the sample is fed directly into a bulk loader and transported automatically to centrifugation and the planned analysis.
“The technicians do not handle anything from when the sample is taken at the emergency department until we have the result of the analysis. That really saves time,” explains Prof. Nauck and reveals:
“We have ideas for more Tempus600 pipelines - the next could be from the Intensive Care unit to the lab.”
From field experience and several tests, Timedico promises that the fast transport does not affect the quality of the blood samples. As the laboratory manager, Prof Nauck decided to verify that statement.
He initiated a test comparing Tempus600 with the hospital’s conventional transport tube, where blood samples are packed and unpacked, and the department’s method, where employees still transport the samples on foot.
“We found that the quality of the sample was superior when transported with the innovative Tempus600 compared to other established procedures,” says Prof. Nauck.
Data from the tests of the different transport systems is available in the journal Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine.