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Major enhancement of biochemistry laboratory equipment in Mayo University Hospital leads to faster turnaround times for test results

A major enhancement of biochemistry laboratory equipment in Mayo University Hospital has significantly cut turnaround times for test results. 

Over the last two years the biochemistry laboratory in Mayo University Hospital (MUH) has undergone enormous development with an ambitious project to install a revolutionary automated track analytical system. This is the only Beckman Coulter automated laboratory system used in Ireland and was one of ten in the world at the time of installation.

The busy laboratory in MUH analyses clinical samples to assist in the diagnosis, monitoring and prognosis of a wide range of diseases. The team of medical scientists process 1,500 samples per day, providing a vital diagnostics service to support doctors and nurses in making clinical decisions within both MUH and the many GP practices in the region.

The new track system was installed in June 2021 after significant internal construction works and reconfiguration within the Biochemistry Department was completed. The track analyser machine automates the processing of samples that is usually done by hand, and the main benefit to patients is a much improved turnaround time for test results.

Ray Divilley, Chief Medical Scientist said, “The Biochemistry Department in MUH has developed into a sophisticated and technologically advanced laboratory, processing approximately 3 million tests annually. The investment in this new state-of the-art equipment was necessary to ensure we can continue to maintain the highest of standards but also enables us expand our services without compromising efficiency.

“For example, when processing tests for GPs we have improved the turnaround time by one third. We are also able to carry out certain tests now in MUH that had previously been sent out to external labs, which means we can get the results back to patients much quicker. The next development for the lab in MUH is to repatriate Vitamin B12, Ferritin and Folate tests in the next few weeks, which is something GPs have been requesting for some time.”

Catherine Donohoe, Hospital Manager said, “This was a huge undertaking by the Biochemistry team and I am delighted to see this important quality improvement initiative in place. The lab in MUH maintains consistently high standards; despite significant challenges during the pandemic and the cyber attack on HSE IT systems the team have adapted to new demands and remained focussed on quality patient care.

The Biochemistry lab recently was awarded ISO 15189 accreditation status which recognises the quality management systems in place in the department. This new automated track technology will ensure that the Biochemistry Department can continue to deliver an excellent diagnostic service for the people of Mayo.”

To learn more about the Biochemistry Department in Mayo University Hospital watch this short video:


The article above is specific to the following Saolta hospitals:: 
Mayo University Hospital (MUH)