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Many medical laboratories have introduced sustainability measures, including going paperless, reusing, turning off lights and computers when not in use, ensuring waste segregation, and adopting lean processes.
An essential process such as often defrosting freezers, like the phcbi ultra low freezer, to allow them to run more competently is one example of improving laboratory sustainability. Other ways to improve the sustainability of laboratories through medical tech include:
Expert Guidance and Data Intelligence
Data intelligence is required to promote lab operations with expert guidance successfully. A primary factor is monitoring all laboratory equipment to ensure optimal utilization to improve efficiency. Asset monitoring offers a complete view of instrument utilization, allowing greater understanding and better asset management.
Expert guidance can help correctly interpret and integrate asset utilization data. Scrutiny of instrument utilization offers the foundation for data-driven decisions, providing insight into balancing scientific assets and fleet right-sizing. The laboratory optimization process entails integrating utilization data with end-of-guaranteed support and instrument service histories to measure the instrument’s health.
Automation is an important force in improving laboratory sustainability. Laboratory manual and automated processes take place in three stages:
- The pre-analytic stage entails selecting the test, requesting the order, preparing the patient, assembling the specimen, moving the sample, preparation work, and regular quality controls.
- The analytic stage involves accurate testing of the specimen and all regular procedures to result in reporting.
- The post-analytic stage is primarily concerned with ending results to the proper physician or hospital department and frequent daily shutdown and maintenance.
Asset Performance Management
On average, laboratory instruments run only 35 percent of the time, and fewer labs utilize data intelligence to determine fleet utilization. To address this gap effectively, an all-inclusive way to assure lab-wide efficiency and optimization is needed. Asset performance management offers a way to get there, both in sustainability and optimization.
Through advanced asset control with expert guidance and digital analytics, asset performance management permits greater utilization and visibility of all lab assets. Maximizing the utilization and availability of all laboratory assets will reduce its carbon footprint.
Point-of-Care Testing (POCT)
New technology has made POCT devices portable and small and improved techniques used to collect specimens to make them minimally invasive. The technology’s comparatively user-friendly and minor size nature is because of advances in microprocessor-based analyzers and one-use test cartridges that contain biosensor-laden silicon tests.
Modern laser-based skin perforators allow the collection of only a few microliters of fluid for analyzing glucose levels. Also, infrared sensors measure glucose and other analytes directly through the skin.
Sustainable Waste Generation
Probably the most significant barrier to being a sustainable laboratory is inefficient and improper disposal of samples and waste.
Laboratories need to separate waste types into sharps, infectious, or general to reduce contamination risks, toxic exposure, and sharps-related injuries. Proper sorting also enhances the efficiency of recycling and waste processing efficiency and reduces the costs needed to treat hazardous wastes.
They can also implement green purchasing policies to purchase eco-friendly materials and utilize minimal packaging that can be reused and sterilized. This will aid in maintaining the environment too.
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