Wednesday, May 13, 2020
In connection with the coronavirus pandemic outbreak and the establishment of a national COVID-19 test centre at Sydvestjysk Sygehus hospital, located in Esbjerg, Denmark, the hospital management decided to invest in a Tempus600 solution with the aim of avoiding the spread of the virus, optimising delivery reliability and streamlining the transport of COVID-19 test samples.
In just two weeks, a new Tempus600 system was installed and implemented in the hospital’s accident and emergency department, which functions as a COVID-19 test centre. Via the dedicated Tempus600 system, the COVID-19 test samples are sent directly to the microbiological laboratory for analysis.
“Before the implementation of the Tempus600 solution, the testing of COVID-19 patients was carried out in the accident and emergency department and in nearby test tents. Porters would collect the samples and take them to the microbiological laboratory, which in relation to the hospital, is located in a separate building on the other side of the road. It made sense therefore to install a technical solution dedicated to the transport of COVID-19 samples,” explains Kim Borup, who is the area manager for Medicoteknik at Sydvestjysk Sygehus and responsible for the purchase of medico-technical equipment.
“Our experience is that during the flu season, we have porters who shuttle back and forth between the accident and emergency department and the Clinical Diagnostics Department in order to get samples analysed as quickly as possible. With COVID-19, we realised that we needed an efficient and secure solution for the transport of samples. So instead of the porters shuttling back and forth with the COVID-19 samples, it would be incredibly smart to use the Tempus600 system to send them, rather than using staff resources to do it,” says Ditte Jørgensen, department bioanalyst at the Microbiology, Clinical Diagnostics Department.
Before the Tempus600 system was implemented, samples were kept in refrigerated storage and collected by a porter, who would take them to the Clinical Diagnostics Department, which is a 5–10 minute walk from the accident and emergency department. This meant that the staff could become uncertain or unsure of where the samples were. With the new Tempus600 solution, it is the requisitioner who personally sends the sample and knows it has arrived at the correct destination. It is a simple input and an output, and this ensures reliability of delivery and peace of mind for the staff.
“We would get many telephone calls every day, with staff asking if we had received the samples and what their status was. It took up a lot of resources. Resources we wanted to use on samples and patients – because that’s what we’re here for,” says Ditte Jørgensen.
Once a sample reaches the Tempus600 receiver unit in the laboratory, a small wall light switches on so that the staff can see that new samples have arrived.
“I love that little light. Even if you aren’t close by, you can look up and check to see if new samples have arrived. It means we can quickly assess whether the samples are urgent or whether they can wait. Previously, we didn’t know if the samples were urgent or otherwise and this meant that several times a day, we walked from the first floor to the ground floor to collect the samples that the porter had brought in. With Tempus, we can quickly assess whether the sample can wait a half hour before being analysed. It means better workflow, for the porters and for the bioanalysts,” says Ditte Jørgensen.
Previously, the laboratory would be open for the receipt of samples from 07:30 to 19:30. In other words, there were 12 hours in any given day where the porters could not deliver the samples in the same way. They could leave samples in the Clinical Diagnostics Department but could not be sure if the samples were for the right recipient. Now the samples can be sent and received for the whole 24-hour period in the Tempus600 system and the bioanalysts no longer have to leave the laboratory to collect the samples and take them to where they need to go.
A smaller team at the microbiology laboratory analyses the COVID-19 samples. They are at the hospital for 20 hours every day, analysing the samples and with the Tempus600 system, they have easy access to processing the samples because now samples can be sent directly to the department. This means a continuous and better workflow.
Soon, in any 24-hour period, between 300 and 500 COVID-19 test samples are sent to the microbiological laboratory using the Tempus600 system. In the long term, staff will also be able to send all kinds of swabs and urine samples to the laboratory using the Tempus600 system. They are the type of samples that take up the most volume and which cannot be analysed by the departments.
Since 2012, Sydvestjysk Sygehus in Esbjerg has installed 14 Tempus600 systems. In addition to the new Tempus600 solution in the COVID-19 test centre, the hospital management has chosen to relocate one of the existing Tempus600 systems to a newly established COVID-19 department to transport blood samples directly to the Clinical Biochemistry Laboratory.Return
Danish hospital ensures safe transport of COVID-19 test samples;