Clinical biochemistry laboratories have undergone significant changes since the 1990s, which have been driven by technology in the form of automation, and the laboratory information system. Automation such as consolidated instruments or workstations, and total laboratory automation have enabled patient results to be produced rapidly thus improving patient management. Real time results have made clinical biochemistry laboratory a key player in patient management. The laboratory information system not only provides a bidirectional interface to the analytical instruments but now has software to evaluate quality control, provide worklists, and has the facility to provide autoverification of results using criteria established by senior laboratory staff. This change in technology requires a review of the profile of the staff that performs clinical biochemistry assays, and this was part of the objective of this study. Questionnaires were sent to senior laboratory staff, universities that conduct AIMS accredited bachelor degrees, TAFE colleges, professional bodies, unions, and diagnostic companies. A four part contact method was utilised. This study reports that scientists who possess a bachelor degree and technicians with Certificate IV or III comprise the majority of the staff performing the analytical work. The majority of the analytical work is performed on automated instruments with a subsequent decreased requirement for high technical skills from scientists. Total Laboratory Automation is increasingly utilised, and the role of a specialist scientist in automation is therefore required. STAT laboratories are few, probably due the combination of fast, automated analysers, improved sample transport, and delivery of results via e.g. the laboratory information system.
|Qualification||Doctor of Health Science|
|Award date||01 Apr 2013|
|Place of Publication||Australia|
|Publication status||Published - 2013|