Report Patient Results with Confidence
Reduce Avoidable Medical Errors to Improve Patient Safety
Preventable adverse patient outcomes or injury present a serious public health concern and an enormous threat to patient safety1. Recently, a study found that medical error is the third leading cause of death in the United States, equating to more than 250,000 deaths per year.2
GenMark is committed to the continued improvement of patient care. The unique solutions on the ePlex® instrument help to improve patient safety across the pre-analytical, analytical and post-analytical phases of the diagnostic process, of which up to 70% of clinicians base their decisions3. The ePlex system is designed to automate typically manual procedures that can potentially lead to human errors, such as accessioning of patient samples, and the manual transcription of patient results into a Laboratory Information System (LIS).
The ePlex system is designed to be both efficient and safe to ensure that every patient has the best opportunity of receiving a fast, reliable and actionable result. The ability to report patient results with confidence helps improve the overall efficiency of the lab, leading to potentially institution-wide benefits to those running the ePlex system4.
Address Common Sources of Medical Error Using the ePlex System
From the moment a test is requested, a patient specimen must be correctly identified, labelled, and tracked. It is in this phase that the majority of errors occur, as the specimen may need to be transported to the site where the testing itself is performed5. Having the ability to track pending test orders, allows the ePlex system to potentially decrease the probability of lost, misplaced or delayed specimens.
- Test cartridge chain of custody – direct placement of barcode on test cartridge to reduce potential for mismatched results.
- Simple, lean workflow – least number of pre-analytical steps to reduce likelihood of human error and technician fatigue.
- Pending test orders – automated download of test orders can notify of lost, misplaced or delayed samples.
During this phase, the patient sample is tested. It is critical that there are necessary QC procedures in place to ensure there are no undetected failures that would lead to incorrect test results. The ePlex system automates QC tracking and onboard reporting to ensure reliable results as well as compliance with the correct accreditation requirements.
- Automated QC tracking and onboard QC reporting – assist in accreditation program compliance and ensure that patient samples are run on valid controls through configurable process control settings.
- QC frequency reminders – automated adherence and tracking of QC frequency.
- Expiration date process control – test cartridge pre-programmed with expiration date and checked upon loading to prevent use of expired reagents.
Patient results must be communicated quickly and accurately to the appropriate personnel, as a failure or delay in reporting can lead to adverse patient effects. Automation tools can greatly minimize errors that occur in this stage as they reduce the need for manual transcription. The ePlex system’s bi-directional LIS capabilities allow users to auto-transcribe results and auto-release specific results, reducing overall turnaround time.
- Bi-directional LIS – improves and standardizes turnaround time by automating the results release process and eliminating transcription errors.
- Customizable auto-release reporting – automatically send specific results to the LIS and reduce overall turnaround time, leading to more actionable information and timely patient care.
1. Brennan TA, Leape LL, Laird NM, Hebert L, Localio AR, Lawthers AG, et al. Incidence of adverse events
2. Daniel M, Makary M. Medical error—the third leading cause of death in the US. BMJ. 2016;353:i2139. and negligence in hospitalized patients: results of the Harvard Medical Practice Study I. N Engl J Med 1991;324:370-6
3. Forsman RW. Why is the laboratory an afterthought for managed care organizations? Clin Chem. 1996; 42(5):813-816
4. ECRI Institute Names Top 10 Patient Safety Concerns for 2017. https://www.ecri.org/press/Pages/Top- 10-Patient-Safety-Concerns-for-2017.aspx. Published March 13, 2017
5. Carraro P, Plebani M. Errors in a stat laboratory: types and frequencies 10 years later. Clin Chem 2007;53(7):1338-1342