New analyser offers innovation through urine microscopy automation

Auch Hospital in the south of France recently took delivery of that country’s first example of a new cytology analyser. Here, Pathology in Practice hears from three senior laboratory staff involved in the project about the changes that have taken place following the addition of this new automated technology.

You have just automated your urine cytology bench by installing the Beckman Coulter DxU. What was the aim of this new installation?

Dr Sébastien Laurens: We are in a situation where medical biology is expanding while at the same time we are facing a shortage of technicians. These circumstances necessitate bringing analysers back in-house and developing new analysers while saving time on existing, routine analysis. That’s why we chose to invest in automated urine cytology.

Our laboratory handles around 6,000 to 7,000 urine samples annually, drawn from hospital samples and related organisations with haemodialysis, screening, paediatric rehabilitation, and psychiatric centres. Until now, we were reading manually. Mounting and reading Kova cells under the microscope takes time – meaning we’ve been limited by technician time, which restricted the development of new analyses. Installing the DxU saved us 30 minutes per day for each technician, and so enabled us to develop new analyses, such as STIs by RT-PCR. We think in terms of medical service provided to patients, and with the installation of the DxU, we’ve considerably improved our turnaround time for results on urine analyses. Working manually, technicians carried out three readings per day – while now, analyses are done continuously, contributing to an improved turnaround time for patient results.

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