Efficient cross-city haematology working enabled in Cardiff

First multi-site installation of HORIBA Medical’s new HELO modular automated haematology platform

The HELO next-generation analysers provide an efficient and secure cross-city service

HORIBA Medical has announced the go-live of the first multi-site installation of its new HELO high-throughput fully-automated haematology platform at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.

The new system is already delivering laboratory efficiencies across Cardiff in line with NHS requirements through the next-generation haematology analysers installed at the University Hospital of Wales (UHW) and University Hospital, Llandough.

Both sites are fully UKAS accredited to ISO 15189 and networked together by a single virtual server to facilitate highly-efficient and secure cross-city working.

Cardiff upgraded across the city with four new HORIBA Yumizen tracked haematology analysers at UHW and two separate Yumizen analysers at Llandough. Both sites have also installed a Slide Preparation System.

Through the HELO platform all of these analysers are brought together into a single networked system where results can be remotely authorised. This single service, allowing remote management from one site to the other, has enabled the sites to skill-mix staff successfully and keep within a stringent financial framework.

Alun Roderick, haematology, blood transfusion and phlebotomy service manager at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, said: “The efficiencies that HELO has allowed us is breath-taking.

“Samples are being processed quicker and we can be more efficient with the way that we deploy staff.

“Using support staff more and putting our qualified biomedical scientists exactly where they need to be at the right time. This means we can support more specialist laboratories, including blood transfusion, while maintaining the quality of our overall service, but just in a different way.”

He added: “We are now able to provide our staff with a broader experience of the laboratory.

“Rather than just dealing with full blood counts as a factory, our qualified staff now also have the time to work in more interesting specialist areas, such as undertaking immunophenotyping, doing more haemoglobinopathies or specialist coagulation.”

Using the new HELO platform with Yumizen analysers has allowed Cardiff to review the workflow coming through its laboratories.

In addition to the efficiencies gained from having a single service across two sites by applying data management to maximum capacity, using the track-based system enables the analysers to perform optimally.

The HELO system automatically disperses samples to the most appropriate analyser, as well as undertakes blood films for example using reflex rules.

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