Two govt. hospitals in Chennai to have ‘seamless laboratories’

Samples will be sent through pneumatic tubes and not manually

Published - October 20, 2018 01:48 am IST - CHENNAI

Test being done at a lab at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital. File photo

Test being done at a lab at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital. File photo

Manual transportation of clinical samples from wards to laboratories will soon become a thing of the past at two government hospitals in the city. The Institute of Child Health (ICH) and Hospital for Children, Egmore, and Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGGH) will soon establish “seamless laboratories” comprising pneumatic tube systems and automated processing of samples.

Earlier this year, the State government had sent teams from the two hospitals on a visit to a few health facilities in Singapore. They studied the seamless laboratories established at the facilities.

R. Jayanthi, dean of RGGGH, said they had sent a proposal to the government to establish a centralised laboratory and pneumatic system.

“At ICH, we will set up a facility housing all laboratories such as microbiology, biochemistry, pathology, molecular diagnosis and diagnosis for rare genetic and metabolic disorders.

The samples reception will be through the pneumatic tube system and there will be no manual carrying of samples within the campus. The samples will be collected through the tubes from every service point such as medical unit, surgical unit, IMCU and NICU, and will be bar-coded at point of sampling,” said A. T. Arasar Seeralar, director of ICH.

A prototype of the pneumatic system is getting installed at ICH, and will be launched on November 14, on the occasion of its golden jubilee celebrations, he said. “The emergency rooms - newborn emergency, Tamil Nadu accident and emergency care initiative ward and surgical emergency - would be connected to the laboratory through the pneumatic system using barcoding for instant processing and acquiring of results,” he added.

₹45 crore proposal

ICH has identified a site within the campus to set up the integrated laboratory facility and has sent a proposal for ₹45 crore including for construction of building, Dr. Seeralar said.

“This seamless laboratory would help in improving clinical laboratory efficiency. Lab processes are moving from manual bench testing to increasingly automated processes,” K. Pramila, head of department, Biochemistry, ICH, said. She added that the analysers would be arranged along a robotic track similar to a conveyor belt. The sample processing unit would be next to the pneumatic tube station. The technician would take the specimens from the tube and drop into inlet of automatic testing line without any waste of time.

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