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LCP Features New Technology


Amanda Amos, HT(ASCP) with countertop COBAS AMPLICOR

LCP recently acquired new technology to test for these infectious diseases. The COBAS AMPLICOR analyzer – manufactured by Roche Diagnostics – is used to conduct what is known as PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing.

“A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test is an example of a nucleic acid amplification test,” said LCP Laboratory Manager Kari Bradshaw. “PCR enables the production of large quantities of DNA from very small samples in a short period of time, making it possible to detect extremely low levels of the bacteria’s genetic material.” 

The test can be performed on urine, culture swabs, and liquid PAP smear specimens. Bradshaw said the test is very sensitive and detects infection even when a patient shows no symptoms of disease.

LCP currently has three staff members trained to conduct PCR testing.


Bar coding system improves efficiency
Hospitals and independent laboratories such as LCP are important checkpoints for detecting and preventing errors that threaten patient safety. That’s why the move to the new facility also saw the acquisition of cutting-edge LIS (laboratory information system) technology that allows LCP to track specimens through bar coding.

The new system assigns each specimen its own unique identity that includes a bar code. Labels using this ID are printed for the patient paperwork, specimen containers and tubes, and microscopic slides, ensuring proper tracking through the entire process.

“Marking and tracking lab specimens with bar codes is a highly effective method for preventing errors,” Bradshaw said. “This creates efficiency within the entire process as the patient’s sample goes from collection to the final report that is returned to their physician.”

Photos and story courtesy of Jim LeMonds of WriteTek Northwest