Pikeville Medical Center’s laboratory department is finally moving into its new space this week. Lab expansion began in October 2017 and Phase One is now complete.

Phase one includes a new automation line, extended blood bank, hematology, chemistry and the offices for pathology.

Beginning July 9, a new state-of-the-art, automated lab system called Aptio will be installed. This will make PMC the only facility in the region with this level of technical capability. An automated line will increase productivity, while also nearly eliminating error.

“We put the specimen in, the computer on the lab line will read the barcode, put it in the centrifuge, take off the cap and send it to which instrument it needs to go to,” explained Carolyn Johnson PMC Laboratory Director. “When it is finished, the specimen is removed from the testing instrument, the cap is replaced and it is sent to a designated rack in refrigerated storage where up to 9,000 specimens can be stored.”

Phase two includes the remaining space in pathology and a remodel of a large portion of microbiology. Phase Three will be the completion of microbiology. “The new lab will double our work space,” explained Johnson. “This will allow us to add to our testing menu, making us faster, getting results to physicians quicker.”

Chemistry, coagulation and hematology analyzers were replaced within the last year, but the additional work space means lab can bring in more equipment to expand its testing capacity.

“We want to grow with new technology and this additional space will enable us to do that.” These advancements mean better care for our patients.

“My staff and I are excited about the changes in our department,” said Johnson. “For us it means more space and more high-tech equipment. For our patients it means expansion of our in-house testing menu and faster, more efficient processing of specimens.”