Homerton University Hospital (ref. Wikipedia)
When Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, based in the London Borough of Hackney, identified problems meeting turnaround times on urgent test requests from Accident and Emergency (A&E), the solution was to install the rapid transport system TEMPUS600®. This has reduced the turnaround time on test results drastically.
Since the introduction at the hospital, the TEMPUS600 transport system (the first installation in the UK) has had a considerable impact on laboratory turnaround times which, in turn, has had a positive effect in Accident and Emergency (A&E). Thus, breaches of the four-hour waiting time in A&E due to diagnostic delays within pathology have become almost non-existent.
Due to long delivery times of blood samples with the existing pneumatic tube system (PTS) and the fact there is no line of sight from Specimen Reception to each of its Pathology laboratories, the hospital management at Homerton University hospital looked for alternative solutions. Then, they heard about TEMPUS600®. This dedicated point-to-point system enables the swift transfer of blood samples from the ward to the lab. Head of Diagnostics, Colin West, having secured the necessary funding, turned to Abbott Diagnostics to install TEMPUS600®.
Implementing the system into the daily work flow was a simple transition. Staff quickly got used to using the system and they made very few mistakes. Therefore, it was possible to continue the normal day-to-day services while implementing the new routines.
“The system itself is fairly intuitive – users need very little training – and maintenance is minimal. The TEMPUS600 was installed in February 2015, going live in mid-March, as soon as the system was implemented, and it has been running successfully ever since” Angus Wyatt, Chemical Pathology Laboratory Manager at Homerton University hospital explains.
The implementation of TEMPUS600 transport system has allowed Homerton University Hospital to establish a separate work stream for samples coming from A&E, reducing the turnaround time for samples significantly.
“It is a different workflow from A&E because the samples come straight into the laboratory with coloured labels denoting that they have been collected in A&E so they can be quickly identified, spun by STAT centrifuge and loaded directly to analysers. It is a much more streamlined and quicker process, done by the same people who run the laboratory’s main analysers with a minimum of manual handling steps. The dedicated workflow ensures that the samples cannot become mixed with the non-urgent test requests. The vision for the future will be to integrate the Tempus receiving station with that of a bulk sample loading device to allow for analysis of sample with no operator touch-points throughout,” says Angus Wyatt.
Careful test studies have shown that it is less traumatic for the samples to be transported with the Tempus system and pushed by air rather than being put in a pod (PTS).
“We studied the samples to see if the new transportation method had any effect on the quality or if there was any potential damage to the samples when they were transported through Tempus. But there was no apparent difference and the samples have the same quality compared to other conventional procedures,” Angus Wyatt explains.
So far TEMPUS600® solution has proved itself to be a good investment. “After three years we are almost at the point of break even.” states Angus Wyatt.
Due to the recent success of the Tempus line into Clinical Biochemistry, the hospital management decided to implement a further
TEMPUS600 TA, linking into Haematology and Blood Transfusion. The new system is expected to help improve turnaround times for FBC, coagulation and other Haematology testing required by A&E.