How can automation help prevent human error in laboratory environments?
There are a number of ways that automation can help prevent human error, and ensure patients receive timely and high quality results.
1. Ensuring results of a reliably high quality
In diagnostic labs, it’s crucial that tests are accurate and precise. When tests are regularly incorrect, laboratory quality is impacted. Automation technology does not make mistakes. Automation is as accurate when it conducts the first process, as it does when it conducts its final. It can replicate and reproduce results, processes and instructions far more precisely, and swiftly, than human counterparts.
2. Reducing mistakes in data entry
When testing results are inputted manually, human error can lead to incorrect data, the consequences of which are sometimes only discovered when it’s far too late to fix. Lab automation software automatically inputs data into reports, reducing the number of errors in manual reporting.
3. Reducing wasted compounds
When humans make mistakes, expensive compounds and components can be wasted, and that’s before the time to clean up, fix and re-perform the process is considered. Full workflow automation can be carefully planned, tested and implemented to ensure valuable compounds aren’t unnecessarily wasted.
4. Reducing the number of failed tests
Human error can cause failed tests, whether it’s through contamination or incorrectly handling the sample. A high number of failed tests can mean constant re-testing, wasting valuable resources analysing failures and finding solutions. Automation can reduce failed test numbers thanks to its ability to repeatedly reproduce results precisely. With early diagnosis critical to patient care, automation can prevent patients experiencing unnecessary delays to their diagnosis.
5. Preventing errors arising from repetitive and laborious tasks or fatigue
Errors often happen in lab testing, because humans aren’t designed to conduct laborious and repetitive tasks, such as pipetting. Fatigue can also increase error rates in labs. Lab automation allows the same process to be replicated thousands of times, much faster than a human could do, and achieves the same high standard of accuracy and preciseness. Unlike humans, robots do not tire and, moreover, can operate for far longer periods of time than their human counterparts.
What is laboratory workflow automation?
Laboratory workflow automation solutions link multiple processes and workflows in order to automate entire assays in diagnostic testing. In the clinical lab, laboratory workflow automation normally encompasses both lab automation hardware and software to form an integrated system that charts the end-to-end progress of a sample. This solution will automate the processes of preanalytics, analytics and post-analytics.
A laboratory workflow automation solution in diagnostic testing may process, test and store specimens autonomously, with minimal human intervention.
With the laboratory workflow automation of diagnostics processes, human error is removed and the quality of lab results is significantly improved. You can find out more about laboratory workflow automation here.