For 85 percent of patients that come to Richmond Hospital, a complete blood count—or CBC—is ordered.
“It's the standard test that we run on almost everybody," says Teresa Sharp, Site Supervisor at Richmond's lab. And now, thanks to a generous donation received from Richmond Hospital Foundation, the lab is able to run these samples, as well as other body fluids, over 50 percent faster.
Named the Sysmex XN 3000, the machine produces a result in approximately 50 seconds—compared to up to two minutes on our previous machines. Using lasers and florescent dyes, and with only 200 micro litres of blood, the machine essentially works as a large screening device, allowing normal results to be automatically released to the patient's chart, while highlighting abnormal samples that need a closer look.
“The machines are cutting edge compared to our previous instruments," says Teresa. “They also have improved result rule algorithms with our lab system allowing the technologists to make quicker decisions. This makes reviewing sample results safer for patients as both efficiency and handling are dramatically improved—it alerts us when there's unusual finding or something that needs to be looked at a bit more closely."
The Richmond lab currently processes approximately 250 samples a day—over three million lab tests a year are done at this site, but Teresa says that “if the hospital were to be upgraded today and double our capacity, this new machine would be able to handle the increased volume—easily."
“It's a huge time saver and we're able to release results to charts faster than ever," she says. “Much of that work was done manually prior to these instruments arriving in the lab; now we have more time to concentrate on patient results that are abnormal."
“As the Richmond community continues to grow, there is an ever increasing need to provide quick and accurate results," says Len Perry, Laboratory Operations manager. “This instrument will help us keep up with those demands today and into the future."
Len also adds that being able to deliver quick results is not only invaluable to departments such as the ED and ICU where rapid turnaround times are necessary, but to hospital units which need to improve patient flow.
“Our turnaround time affects the entire system, which drives our need to respond," he says. “This machine helps us meet that challenge. It's an amazing donation and we're so thankful to the support of donors to Richmond Hospital Foundation."
The lab equipment was made possible by generous donations from Vancouver Diamond Lions Club & Lions Club International, which was founded in 2007 with a group of like-minded philanthropists who enjoy helping others and serving our community.