ROYAL OAK — Beaumont Health System’s Anatomic Pathology laboratory has installed a touch screen workflow system to barcode, track and re-confirm the identity of every biopsy sample through every step in the laboratory process.

The Ventana Vantage workflow system, by Ventana Medical Systems Inc. in Tucson, Ariz., helps to improve patient safety in the Anatomic Pathology lab so the right biopsy results are provided to the right patient as quickly as possible.

Beaumont is the first health system in Michigan with multiple hospitals connected together in a network on the Vantage platform. Beaumont’s three hospitals collectively process 102,898 biopsy samples a year.

“This new system allows us to have an integrated, unbroken ‘chain of custody’ for biopsy samples,” says Mark Kolins, Beaumont Health System chair, pathology and laboratory medicine. “It eliminates data re-entry and reduces labeling errors because patient information is entered into a computer only once and electronically transferred with barcode scanners throughout the process. It also allows us to locate any specimen or slide on any workstation or instrument, to eliminate misplaced patient samples.”   As part of the implementation, Beaumont Anatomic Pathology staff worked with Ventana to review and simplify workflow processes for faster turnaround times and greater efficiency.

The system also provides a lab performance dashboard to help lab leaders identify opportunities for improvement in quality, safety and efficiency.

Previously, samples were manually labeled multiple times throughout the laboratory process, with a higher chance of an error.

In the Anatomic Pathology laboratory, patient biopsy samples removed through surgery are transformed into a section of tissue on a glass slide. Through a series of steps, the tissue is transferred to different media.  A physician specializing in anatomic pathology examines the tissue using a microscope to determine at a cellular level if cancer or another disease is present.

In addition to the Anatomic Pathology lab, Beaumont uses barcoding as a patient safety measure for blood specimens in its clinical laboratories. Barcode labels are produced at the point of collection for the 5 million inpatient blood tests processed annually in Beaumont’s clinical labs. Beaumont’s outpatient blood draw sites also use barcoding.

Beaumont is in the process of implementing a barcoding system for inpatient medication administration.


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