2011-01-18

Test results within 20 minutes

Nearly every visitor of the hematology laboratory at the Karolinska University Laboratory in Huddinge, Sweden is struck by how quiet and calm it is. While there is certainly plenty of activity by the analyzers, the atmosphere is calm and focused – an essential condition for correct judgment, reproducibility, and efficiency. The MD, Consultant Soheir Beshara has an air of humbleness, but there is no doubt that she is proud of her clinic and staff.

— It is very satisfying when a patient receives test results within 20 minutes. Regardless of whether the sample is taken in Danderyd, Huddinge, or any of the other hospitals there is now consistency in the results.

Connecting Hematology Laboratories
When Soheir Beshara first came to the Karolinska University Laboratory in 2005 she was given the task of coordinating hematological activities at the six hospitals that are part of Clinical Chemistry. This proved to be a challenging undertaking as the laboratories were using somewhat different methods and instruments, and at times there were inconsistencies in the assessment of results. Soheir Beshara and her colleagues tackled these problems using two strategies. To begin with by coordinating the laboratories, evaluating their work, and, importantly, through educating their staff. Secondly by using high-tech tools, some from CellaVision, to automate and standardize results, as well as to connect laboratories through networks.

As part of a large order from CellaVision’s distributor Sysmex four analyzers for digital morphology of blood cells were delivered in the spring of 2007. A network using one common database connected four hospitals — the Karolinska University Hospitals in Huddinge and Solna, Danderyd Hospital, and Stockholm South General Hospital—allowing staff to share their interpretations of samples and to assist each other with more difficult cases.

Prize-Winning Changes
Soheir Beshara’s work has paid off—currently the hematology laboratories are producing faster, safer, and more standardized results than ever before. In December 2009 Soheir Beshara was awarded the second place prize of “Gyllene Äpplet” (The Golden Apple), a prize awarded by the Stockholm County Council to projects that contribute to positive development. Although the prize was awarded Soheir Beshara, she points out that equal credit is due to the entire department.

— My colleagues are all interested and enthusiastic about what we have achieved. We work as a unit in which we communicate with each other and share experiences. The successful cooperation between CellaVision and the Karolinska University Laboratory has become a reference project that can be repeated at other hospitals. Tom Liber, Head of Sales in the Nordic region, regards the project as the ideal collaboration.

— They had a clear vision of what they wanted to accomplish. This made it easier for us to identify and meet their needs.

Jury Motivation
“Soheir Beshara has modernized and coordinated routine work at six different hospital laboratories, resulting in an improved and more standardized analytical quality of hematological samples. [—] She has also successfully introduced new analytical methods utilizing the latest technology while motivating colleagues to replace older, less efficient routines.”

Karolinska University Laboratory in Numbers
Karolinska University Laboratory is the largest and most complete clinical laboratory in northern Europe. The laboratory provides a complete range of services for healthcare entities as well as research and education. Karolinska University Laboratory is a division of Karolinska University Hospital and divided into eight departments. Clinical laboratory services are provided not only at Karolinska University Hospital in Huddinge and Solna, but also at Danderyd Hospital, Norrtälje Hospital, Södersjukhuset and Södertälje Hospital, as well as at about 70 community laboratories and about 10 blood donor centers. Karolinska University Laboratory is closely linked to Karolinska Institutet and offers diagnostics on the cutting edge of international research.

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