Article

How to achieve optimal efficiency in your lab

LDT 1
An efficient portfolio is one of the essentials in any lab setting including laboratory developed testing (LDT). Quick turnaround times are the hallmarks of efficient lab work, especially when testing for rare diseases and pathogenic outbreaks.

LDT impacts the world in very meaningful ways. For example, 300 million individuals annually are afflicted with rare diseases, which means that many people are looking to LDT innovations to combat infectious disease pathogens and rare genetic disorders. The stakes get even higher when you consider the fact that 50 percent of this demographic are children. This means that just one test can really make a significant difference in people's lives.

 

There's no doubt that LDT requires speed, but it also demands accuracy. While bottlenecking due to high volume is bound to happen from time to time in any lab, there are ways to manage this high volume while maintaining accuracy and continuing the valuable work you conduct through LDT.

 

Efficiency can be difficult to accomplish, especially in larger reference or public health labs due to the sheer volume of data and material. In these cases, it's easy for laboratory professionals to be focused on completing large cohorts of data. However, it's essential that effectiveness is just as important in the laboratory workflow as is efficiency. That's where lab design and diagnostic product choices can help you to achieve an efficient and effective workflow.

What does LDT efficiency look like?

Flexible lab design can make a world of difference for clinicians and lab personnel. Diagnostic bioscience has progressed dramatically over the past few decades. However, in many cases, proper lab design has not advanced with scientific progress. Think about it: Offices and hospitals have updated their facilities over the years as technology and architectural design advanced, so why can't labs do the same? Considering how valuable diagnostics is to life sciences as well as public health, updating your lab design is a worthwhile investment.

 

In addition to lab design, there are certain dayto-day tasks within the lab that can improve your workflow. These include instrument maintenance, cross-training with colleagues, tracking calibrations and documenting your progress.  

 

Researchers should also have their buffers and reagents prepared and ready to use before starting their workflow so that they can make the most of their time.

 

Another great idea for lab upkeep is conducting a weekly inventory of your products so that all reagents and buffers are accounted for once you step into the lab the following week. No laboratory professional wants to begin their testing only to realize that they are out of the lab supplies that are essential to their protocol.

 

Updating your lab notebook or e-book is an easy thing to forget, but jotting down important procedures will make a world of difference if you run into troubleshooting issues down the road. Keep a practical list of tasks that you actually can accomplish realistically on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. As mundane as to-do lists might seem, this practice greatly helps laboratory professionals manage their time more effectively

Why Roche is the most efficient choice for your LDT needs

Roche products are versatile, so clinicians and lab personnel can develop diagnostic testing based on their unique needs. Automated solutions mean less hands-on time, which can potentially reduce the chances of errors and help to streamline diagnostic testing.

 

Roche's products also allow for higher throughput by running multiple molecular applications simultaneously. Through multiplexing, lab professionals can look at several pathogens within the run simultaneously. In addition, clinicians can expect a sophisticated, yet simple nucleic acid extraction process for almost all samples. Roche's products are also flexible, so clinicians and lab personnel can accomplish more with their investment. For instance, the cobas z 480 analyzer can be used both for LDT and in vitro diagnostic applications, allowing for more versatility within small and large labs.

 

In labs large and small, efficiency is one of the major aspects that make up the blueprint for modern clinical testing labs practicing both IVD and LDT.

References: 

http://www.cdc.gov/ophss/csels/od/DOCS/LIU/LEI-Policy-Guide_April2014.pdf http://www.cytodiagnostics.com/blog/?p=50 http://www.labnews.co.uk/features/effectiveness-is-not-the-same-as-efficiency/ http://www.benchfly.com/blog/increase-your-lab-efficiency-and-make-henry-ford-proud/ http://www.atlab.com/docs/Enhancing_Laboratory_Efficiency_through_Continuous_Quality_ Improvement_and_LIMS_Automation.pdf