Automation in clinical biochemistry core, peripheral, STAT, and specialist laboratories in Australia

George S. Streitberg, Lyndall Angel, Kenneth A. Sikaris, Phillip Bwititi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Pathology has developed substantially since the 1990s with the introduction of total laboratory automation (TLA), in response to workloads and the need to improve quality. TLA has enhanced core laboratories, which evolved from discipline-based laboratories. Work practices have changed, with central reception now loading samples onto the Inlet module of the TLA. It is important to continually appraise technology. This study looked at the impact of technology using a self-administered survey to seniors in clinical biochemistry in NATA GX/GY'classified laboratories in Australia. The responses were yes, no, or not applicable and are expressed as percentages of responses. Some of the questions sourced for descriptive answers. Eighty-one laboratories responded, and the locations were 63%, 33%, and 4% in capital cities, regional cities, and country towns, respectively. Forty-two percent were public and 58% private. Clinical biochemistry was in all core laboratories of various sizes, and most performed up to 20 tests per sample. Thirty percent of the 121 surveyed laboratories had plans to install an automated line. Fifty-eight percent had hematology and biochemistry instrumentations in their peripheral laboratory, and 16% had a STAT laboratory on the same site as the core laboratory. There were varied instruments in specialist laboratories, and analyzers with embedded computers were in all laboratories. Medium and large laboratories had workstations with integrated instruments, and some large laboratories had TLA. Technology evolution and rising demand for pathology services make it imperative for laboratories to embrace such changes and reorganize the laboratories to take into account point-of-care testing and the efficiencies of core laboratories and TLA.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-394
Number of pages8
JournalJALA - Journal of the Association for Laboratory Automation
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012


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