50 years of FORAN in continuous reinvention - December 2014 - No. 48 /Up-to-Date

“With AUTOPLAK our streaking routine has increased fivefold”

Doctor Antonia Andreu poses with AUTOPLAK.

Doctor Antonia Andreu poses with AUTOPLAK.

The Microbiology Laboratory of Vall d’Hebron University Hospital in Barcelona (Spain) has been using the AUTOPLAK automatic sample inoculation and streaking system for Petri dishes developed by NTE Healthcare for over a year. We are speaking with Dr. Antonia Andreu, Head of Automation in the Microbiology Laboratory, about the results the system has produced so far.

Since it came into operation, what is your evaluation of AUTOPLAK’s performance in the laboratory?

Antonia Andreu: We have been able to adapt the AUTOPLAK equipment perfectly to our processes with great ease. In turn, this has allowed us to increase the productivity of the streaking process for clinical samples that enter the laboratory, and also reduce the space required for this process.

What is the main advantage of having introduced this system?

A.A.: Without a doubt, the standardization in the streaking processes, the reproducibility of results and the perfect traceability it achieves. Thanks to the automation, a number of laboratory personnel have been freed up from tedious repetitive tasks, enabling them to dedicate their time to activities with greater added value.

How many samples did you process before introducing AUTOPLAK and how many do you process now?

A.A.: Incorporating AUTOPLAK has been a major factor in the integration of primary healthcare laboratories Manso and Bon Pastor (both in Barcelona) with the laboratory at Vall d’Hebron University Hospital. With the new system we have gone from processing 2,160 urine cultures per month to more than 10,300. The new collaboration means we also do streaking on 1,180 stool cultures per month and 2,500 genital cultures.

Are there any other processes in the microbiology laboratory that might be automated with AUTOPLAK?

A.A.: The streaking and inoculation function performed by AUTOPLAK is only the first stage in the processing of samples at the microbiology laboratory. Other tasks that are currently done manually but appear to be candidates for automation would be the incubation and inspection of the Petri dishes, inoculation on the Mueller-Hinton agar, and the placing of antibiotic discs in order to perform the antibiogram in the disk diffusion method. I understand that NTE Healthcare is already working in this direction.

SENER, through its brand NTE Healthcare, has signed a collaboration framework agreement with Vall d’Hebron University Hospital to jointly develop projects for the improvement of bioengineering equipment and systems.



The doctor with AUTOPLAK at the Microbiology Laboratory of Vall d’Hebron. AUTOPLAK system.

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