Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) has just installed a new automated line to deliver and test patients’ blood samples. This revolutionary advancement in technology has changed testing blood samples forever. It is a huge step forward for PMC and the more than 400,000 people in the service area.

PMC Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Kansas Justice said, “The automated line is seamless in its approach to delivering specimens. There are around 200 tests that were previously sent out to our reference lab that will now be done in-house. We will no longer have to wait 24 hours for those results. We will have them in just minutes.”

She says this remarkable piece of equipment is so advanced no other line in the state is comparable, as far as laboratory automation.

Justice said, “We are really excited for our patients who come to the emergency department. The automated line will produce a faster turn-around time for testing which means patients won’t have to wait as long for their lab results.”

The specimens will be handled much less by staff, therefore making their jobs safer and more efficient.

There is also a new storage feature that will prevent patients from being stuck additional times and help the physicians retrieve results almost instantly.

“We now have a large refrigerator module to store our specimens for seven days,” said Lab Information Systems Administrator for Labs, Donald Keathley. “If a physician places an additional order for testing from a tube in storage, we can immediately recall the tube by order number and send it straight back to the line for testing in just minutes. This process saves everyone a tremendous amount of time and work.”

The automated line is part of a monumental laboratory expansion project.

“This project has more than doubled the size of our laboratory and we have invested a total of $6.5 million dollars to make it happen,” said Justice. “Our patients are very important to us and we know their health is totally worth the investment.”

Keathley says some of the additional advancements includes new hematology equipment, featuring a cellavision, a new blood bank and a new pathology department with an immuno stainer.

For additional information about the new automated line in the lab at Pikeville Medical Center, call 606-218-3500.

Blood Bank: Involved in blood typing, detection of antibodies, and crossmatching of blood for transfusion.

Chemistry: Performs a multitude of tests for the detection and monitoring of diseases.

Hematology: Performs tests to evaluate cell counts, cellular morphology, and clotting ability.

Microbiology: Performs cultures and tests to identify agents responsible for infections

Pathology:  Histologic technicians process and prepare a variety of tissues for gross and microscopic examination by the pathologist.

Urinalysis and Serology: Performs tests on urine to identify chemical and morphologic abnormalities, as well as pregnancy.