NYC Health + Hospitals on November 10, 2022, announced the completion of a major, five-year project to upgrade chemical laboratories across all 11 public hospitals with new technology and equipment that will improve turnaround times for test results and reduce lab costs by $4.3 million annually. The final stage of the systemwide project was marked by the opening of the new state-of-the-art lab at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue. NYC Health + Hospitals processes more than 4.3 million routine chemistry tests annually for cardiac conditions, diabetes, pregnancy and more.
NYC Health + Hospitals replaced old laboratory equipment with new automated laboratory equipment that classify, analyze, and test a greater number of specimen types at the same time and require less manual intervention, ultimately improving turnaround time for test results. For example, turnaround time for Basic Metabolic profile test will now take 45 minutes instead of 60 minutes. In addition, by standardizing practices and purchasing equipment for 11 labs, the health system achieved economies of scale that will help reduce its annual chemistry spend from $12 million to $7.7 million – resulting in an annual savings of $4.3 million.
“With the opening of the new lab at Bellevue Hospital, all 11 hospitals in the NYC Health + Hospitals system have modern chemistry analyzers, and all of our patients will receive their test results sooner,” said Kenra Ford, Vice President of Medical and Professional Affairs, NYC Health + Hospitals. “In addition, we were able to leverage the total system volume and negotiate better pricing for all of our hospital laboratories, increasing efficiency and creating standard technical and operational workflows using this new equipment.”
“This modern technology enables our excellent medical team to provide highly reliable results in a more timely manner to patients, discuss treatment options and make decisions about care,” said William Hicks, CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue. “It allows us to more effectively respond to the requirements of a Level I Trauma Center in New York City, as well as elevate other outstanding care that we provide including stroke and cardiology.”
“This state-of-the-art automated lab will allow our medical providers to more nimbly support the activities of a large metropolitan hospital, as it requires less manual intervention from staff, provides faster turn-around time, and processes greater specimen volumes,” said Patience Mancho, Director of Clinical Ancillary Services, NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue. “Lab technologists are the backbone of our laboratory and are still needed to observe, analyze, and confirm test results before releasing them to medical providers.”
As the final lab to come online during the system wide upgrade, the Bellevue Hospital lab will be able to sort and centrifuge over 150,000 chemistry and hematology specimens monthly on the automated track, an increase of nearly 50,000 specimens per month. Other new features include:
- Modern space to receive and handle incoming specimens, where lab assistants verify that the material and patient information is accurate, the correct tests are ordered and performed, and samples are sorted for the chemistry, hematology and reference labs;
- New Integrated Roche Automated System (cobas 8100 automated track and Pro analyzers) to classify, analyze and test a greater number of specimen types at the same time and allow quicker test results;
- A new mechanical room with a heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, a water purification system, and emergency power capabilities necessary to support the new lab.