The system has revolutionised the way in which bacteriological specimens are grown, recorded and analysed - enabling more results to be returned quickly to GPs and clinical teams in hospital.
Stuart Matthews, Laboratory Manager at Salisbury District Hospital said: " At the heart of the concept is the ability to move towards the electronic capture of information, which is less labour intensive and time consuming than traditional methods or systems. This is because the amount of time that specialist staff actually need to physically examine the agar plate is reduced."
This system works by incubating the plate and photographing it at different stages. This takes place outside normal working hours. When staff start work in the morning, they can bring up all the images that relate to that specimen on a high definition widescreen display unit using its unique barcode.
The biomedical scientist can then focus on single or multiple images, identify colonies of bacteria such as MRSA, salmonella and thrush and mark for further work.
The system also makes it easier for the scientist to see and reject negative images. This gives them more time to do a more detailed analysis of positive specimens and enables negative results to be returned faster to the GP or the clinical team in hospital.
Mr Matthews said: "There are real benefits for patients. Obviously you still need to grow the bacteria. However, with more time available for preparation, viewing and analysis, turnaround times for results are faster than more traditional ways of dealing with specimens, simply because there is less work that needs to be done."
Mr Matthews added: "Because the technology is doing most of the work, the system also has enormous benefits for staff. Highly skilled biomedical scientists have more time to concentrate on analysis. Stored images also provide a full record of different stages of growth that can be retained for further investigation." Ends
Reporters and photographers are invited to come along and see the new technology at work when it is launched by Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust Chairman Luke March on Monday, 23 April at 2.30pm. There will be an opportunity to speak to laboratory staff and representatives from Kiestra.
Please confirm attendance with Patrick Butler (details below) by no later than Friday, 20 April 2007.
If you would further information please contact:
Patrick Butler, Public Relations Manager, Salisbury NHS Foundation. Tel: 01722 425170