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The modern microbiology laboratory’s need to adopt advanced automation for operational efficiency

The bioMérieux-COPAN partnership addresses pressure to reduce costs while increasing productivity, turnaround time, and result reliability. 

Laboratory automation is currently the main organizational challenge for microbiologists. Canadian microbiology labs are following the industry trend where smaller labs are merged with large super labs. Considered the most cost-effective and efficient way to process samples, creating centers of excellence in terms of expertise is the advantage.

Microbiology laboratories are faced with significant pressure to provide the highest quality patient test results in the shortest possible time. Given the rapid increase of multidrug-resistant organisms and an ever-expanding list of superbugs responsible for potentially fatal infections. Laboratory decision-makers need to take automation to the next level to optimize laboratory flow, translating into faster results and productivity gains.

How can advancing automation in our microbiology laboratories increase a Canadian hospital’s ability to save money, time and lives? bioMérieux’s partnership with COPAN–a world leader in collecting and storing bacteria and viruses for culture and molecular biology–results in streamlined automation systems and solutions to address pressure to reduce costs while increasing productivity, turnaround time, and results reliability. 

Helps to compensate for lack of staff 

Automating classic workflows is a strenuous process for the laboratory teams and a huge, long-lasting financial investment. Recruiting and retaining qualified, experienced staff, especially considering the trend of laboratories moving away from batch processing to continuous, even 24/7 processing, is also an issue for many laboratories.  

The integration of COPAN instrumentation in the microbiology laboratory’s pre-analytical phase with bioMérieux’s solutions in the analytical phase streamlines and increases productivity within the workflow process while adhering to standardization and limiting human error.

The bioMérieux-COPAN solution made room for integrating existing innovations to enrich new systems for laboratory automation.

This enriched bioMérieux’s BacT/ALERT® and VIRTUOTM blood culture systems, as well as VITEK® 2 and VITEK® MS for bacterial identification and automated antibiotic susceptibility testing. 

Supports delivery of test quotas with precision

WASPLab, an end-to-end specimen processing solution manufactured by COPAN and empowered by bioMérieux, has made the customer experience successful when integrating the solution into their laboratories’ workflow. Through the ability to conduct interpretation readings, WASPLab further reduces physical steps that need to be done.

WASPLab has proven to be especially efficient when leveraging the power of PhenoMATRIX, another integrated component within its system that automatically pre-assesses and pre-sorts culture plates, allowing a substantial decrease in time to achieving results.

Researchers have continuously reported improvements in technical time, traceability, safety, quality of results and time to results reporting, and a significant increase in the number of samples processed using the same number of technicians. 

Reduces risk, helps avoid manual human errors 

WASPLab has played a vital role in innovating automated systems in laboratories while streamlining laboratory diagnostics labour. With its integrated multi-culture collection mechanic innovation Colibrí® (another solution by COPAN), WASPLab can collect a colony of cultures to streamline detection. Colibrí® decreases the risk of errors while ensuring standardization and accuracy. Laboratory workers have stated that this has freed their technicians to conduct more value-added tasks. For laboratories with a shortage of technicians, this is good news. Laboratories can ensure their staff can focus away from tasks that automation can carry out rapidly and accurately.

Also within WASPLab’s endorsements by the medical community is the bioMérieux-COPAN solution’s innovative components, Colibri® and PhenoMATRIX. These components streamline the testing and collecting of sample cultures, reducing the processing time and limiting room for human error.

BioMérieux has always sought to work in partnership with microbiologists to make microbiology simpler, faster and more effective while maintaining or improving quality. Being at the forefront of advances in microbiology means BioMérieux can provide complete solutions by replacing repetitive tasks with adapted automated systems to promptly identify diseases for better patient care.  As a pioneer in laboratory automation technology, greater innovations can be expected for the future that will surely streamline human workflow within the laboratory and diminish any room for human error.


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