Associate Professor Andreas Matussek, Director of Laboratory Services
The Tempus600 has proven its worth in three Swedish hospitals. Due to the fast transportation of blood samples from the emergency department to the laboratory there is no need for point-of-care testing – the full and thorough analysis results can be delivered as quickly as if the lab was right next to the patient. It has increased patient safety, says the director of all three labs.
The turnaround time for acute blood samples has been significantly reduced since Tempus600 was installed, according to Associate Professor Andreas Matussek, Director of Laboratory Services at three hospitals in Jönköping County Council: in Eksjö, Jönköping and Värnamo.
Tempus600 is a pipeline dedicated to small clinical samples, and at all three hospitals the system has been installed from the emergency department to the laboratory. In Jönköping a second pipeline was installed to connect the phlebotomy department directly to the laboratory.
The person who takes the sample can send it immediately in the standard tube from the local pipeline feeder.
“It minimizes the handling by the staff and increases efficiency,” states Andreas Matussek.
Before Tempus600 there was a traditional pipeline in Jönköping linking the emergency department to the lab. Here the samples had to be packed in plastic and put in vessels before they were sent. On arrival they had to be unpacked. Furthermore the pipeline was used for other purposes as well.
“There were a lot of handling and several manual steps involved in sending blood samples with that system,” explains Andreas Matussek.
At the phlebotomy department in Jönköping there were no traditional pipelines to the lab. Here all samples were transported manually.
“The technicians, who really should have spent their time analysing or collecting samples, had to walk over to the laboratory with the samples,” says Andreas Matussek and continues:
“We ran a test showing the time spent, from when a sample was taken until we got it at the lab, and it really was an eye opener.”
“We have often discussed point of care to be implemented – through Tempus600 we have ended this ongoing discussion,” as Andreas Matussek puts it.
Andreas Matussek did not know of Tempus600 when he started a project at the three Jönköping hospitals to improve the efficiency of the laboratories.
“Our aim was to improve patient safety by looking at the turnaround-time, efficiency and the whole handling of the samples from when they were taken until the analysis results were reported,” explains Andreas Matussek.
Companies were invited to present their solutions for a faster and more efficient laboratory system. One of the companies was Siemens, who mentioned Tempus600 as a serious way to cut of transportation time.
“I saw the Tempus600 movie on YouTube and thought: ‘Nice invention’. We then visited a Danish hospital to see the system in use, and I was convinced that the concept could solve our transport problem,” says Andreas Matussek.
After the pipelines were installed in the Swedish hospitals, Andreas Matussek carried out an internal test for validation. He wanted to see for himself that the fast transportation did not impair the quality of the samples. The test showed that the quality was the same, and the system was taken into use.
“The main advantage of Tempus600 is probably the turn-around time. It is good for the patients, who will get correct and optimized treatment faster. We have increased patient safety, and ultimately it can save lives,” says Andreas Matussek.
The pipeline system also means that nurses and technicians can spend their valuable time at the emergency departments or in the lab instead of walking the long corridors.
“They can focus on work that adds more value,” Andreas Matussek points out.
At Jönköping 70,000 blood samples are taken each year, and slightly fewer at Eksjö and Värnamo. And as Director of Laboratory Services, Andreas Matussek, observes in one final statement:
“We have increased efficiency, that’s quite certain.”