Monday, 31 July 2017

Instrument Renewal: for a Satisfactory Test Result

The force behind the clinical laboratories marketing is the need to give the customers a more accurate, reliable, and faster test result. To ensure that such a need is met, researchers are driven to find new techniques as well as more sophisticated instrument. New instruments are required from time to time. Or at least, there needs to be a renewal for obsolete instruments as an attempt to keep up with the market demand and the intense market competition.

Instrument renewal is a replacement process of old instruments with the new ones, following the technology and method advancement as well as the good management governance (throughput). The renewal needs to be conducted within four years after the instruments' first usage. Generally, the average lifespan of the instruments used in Prodia clinical laboratory is four years.

Renewal to keep up with the technology advancement

Each instrument in Prodia has its own usage record, detailing its installation time up to its current usage. The record contains information related to the number of instruments which are currently in maintenance, have had spare part replacement, and that are laboratory consumables.

Based on the instrument usage record, an evaluation will be conducted to predict its capacity and condition. When an instrument has been used more than six years, the instrument must be planned for renewal. Actually, age factor is not the only indicator for an instrument renewal. Technology advancement, problem frequency, and/or inadequate instrument capacity can also be the indicators for the renewal.

Each laboratory conducts problem frequency monitoring to every instrument and categorizes them into four risk groups namely low, medium, high, and extreme. This categorization will ease the monitoring of the instrument' s condition and risk. If an instrument is categorized as at high risk or extreme risk at a certain period, it will become an "alarm" for Prodia to review and re-analyze the need to renew the instrument.

In Prodia, instrument renewal is performed in compliance with the annual planning created by the Development and Operation team. The instrument renewal program is conducted to all kind of instrument used.

The importance of instrument renewal in Prodia

Prodia considers the laboratory instruments as one of the prominent components in assuring the test result quality. Because of that importance, there must be assurance of the instrument condition and quality. Instrument renewal is one of the tools for Prodia to ensure the implementation of its responsibility to give the best laboratory quality. Instrument renewal is closely related to the test result received by the patients.

How often such a renewal is conducted depends on the need of each instrument used. Each instrument has its own minimum term of renewal. Though so, the process will still be performed when it is considered necessary.

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