Wednesday, September 18, 2019
A general problem in German healthcare is that an increasing number of patients from outpatient clinics are turning to the hospital’s A&E for help. This situation impacts on the workflow and places a significant strain on the hospital's resources.
Neubrandenburg is an academic teaching hospital of University Greifswald and, one of many German hospitals which are under daily pressure to start patient treatment earlier and discharge ambulatory patients more efficiently. The hospital treats 47,000 patients a year and has 1,040 beds. More than 100 patients are treated each day in A&E.
In 2016, the Laboratory Manager, Professor Egon Werle, was looking for a new way of improving the workflow and optimising the total turn-around time for STAT blood samples. The objective was to obtain more efficient transportation of blood samples and improve patient care for the large number of ambulatory patients.
"Previously, it was complicated to collect samples from more than 100 patients a day in A&E, because the nurses had to carry the samples manually from A&E to the laboratory. It was a very time-consuming procedure and often the nurses’ first priority was to take care of the patients instead of carrying the samples to the laboratory. Consequently, the laboratory often received calls from colleagues asking for test results, before the laboratory technicians had received the blood collection tubes for analysis", explains Professor Werle.
Having read an article about Tempus600, Professor Werle attended a live presentation of the Tempus600 system at the Greifswald University Hospital. He realised that the system could be a turning point for Neubrandenburg University Hospital in achieving faster test results and starting patient treatment earlier.
The hospital management decided to buy the Tempus600 solution and in July 2018, the new system was installed in A&E in the hospital's existing buildings built in the 1970s.
Today, the sample tubes are transported 200 metres from A&E on the ground floor via the narrow, dedicated pipeline, to the laboratory on the first floor. The sample tubes land in a manual tray in the laboratory and are collected by the laboratory technician before being placed in the centrifuge and continuing the journey to the sorting and analysis equipment.
"As expected, Tempus600 saves a lot of time and resources for the nurses in A&E and, after implementing the system, the overall turnaround time for blood samples has been reduced significantly - by at least half an hour", claims Professor Werle. "The laboratory procedures are the same, but the workflow has improved because the even flow of samples has reduced the peaks in the laboratory”.
The nurses can now concentrate on their primary tasks, taking care of the patients, instead of walking with the samples. Moreover, the colleagues don’t have to call for test results.
“We send approximately 25.000 samples per annum via the Tempus600 system and the system has proved to be very reliable and easy to maintain for the technical department”, says Professor Werle.
Efficient sample transport frees up resources in crowded A&E