Part one of a two-part series (Access part two):
With speed and accuracy the name of the game for laboratory results, Great Basin Scientific hopes its new diagnostic tool will help providers find infections quickly and efficiently so that care delivery can be improved.
The tool is a silicon chip-based technology that allows staff to test multiple samples on one platform. The Salt Lake City-based company expects that its automated molecular diagnostic system will give results in less than one hour. The tool is still in the development stage; Great Basin has conducted a preclinical study with a full clinical trial in four to six participating labs scheduled to begin in August.
It is the productivity cycle of the hospital labthe number of tests that can be processed during a shiftthat is central to Great Basins work. Test-to-result time is critical for effective work, said Great Basin CEO Ryan Ashton. Providers need to know whats wrong with a patient. They want to run those tests 24-7.
Technology plays a role in boosting the laboratorys ability to conduct more tests, Ashton said. Moving diagnostics to the point of care is something hospitals are exploring because they recognize it would reduce the time it takes to get a sample, test it and return the results to the care provider, he added. Anything thats going to make their jobs easier is going to be something theyll really like.
Indeed, technology plays a role in productivity across the board, and the healthcare industry is no exception. From faster laboratory results to real-time electronic information in emergency departments to online dashboards that monitor performance metricsproviders have begun to embrace automated processes to improve their operations.
Still, there are significant challenges to adopting various technologies. Critics of electronic health records have said that the technology can be confusing and hard to implement, and it winds up disrupting work and limiting productivity. Some proponents of comparative-effectiveness research have questioned the need for the latest and greatest MRI machine if the older ones provide results just as well, and more cheaply.