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LC-MS/MS System Uptime: A Key Driving Force in Clinical Labs

Team TFS
Team TFS
uptimeClinical laboratories are under constant pressure to analyze a large number of samples and deliver high quality results quickly. To ensure the provision of the best possible service at all times, laboratories must minimize any disruptions or delays as a result of system downtime. Professor Olof Beck, Director of the Clinical Pharmacology Laboratory at the Karolinska University Hospital in Sweden, believes a liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) system that provides consistent uptime and is supported by comprehensive service plans, could be the answer to maximizing laboratory efficiency and productivity.

Help, the system is down!

 Even with the most competent LC-MS/MS systems, there will be some downtime, occurring naturally over the course of their operation. To quickly identify and address the cause of the failure, both laboratory staff and service engineers need to have a deep understanding of both the LC-MS/MS technology and the specific applications for which it is being used. It is also advised to have back-up systems to enable continuity of service. “System downtime cannot be at the expense of patient health,” explains Professor Beck.

At the same time, it is vital to choose instruments that are backed with an all-inclusive service and support scheme, including preventive, predictive and corrective maintenance. Laboratory personnel must also do their part and implement all necessary preventive measures on a regular basis. “In that way, you can ensure you will always be able to perform at a high capacity and fulfil your mission to safeguard patient health,” continues Professor Beck.

The Connected Components Challenge

 To date, the lack of a fully integrated clinical LC-MS/MS analyzer has meant scientists have needed to set up their own system using a range of connected components from various vendors, including automated sample handlers, LC and MS units, LC-MS/MS reagent kits, and software. As a result, in the case of a system failure, laboratory personnel and service engineers from all of the different vendors need to implement separate troubleshooting protocols for each specific component to identify and resolve the cause of the problem. This can be a particularly challenging and time-consuming task, leading to considerable delays in the delivery of results.

What would your ideal LC-MS/MS system look like?

 Professor Beck envisions a dedicated, fully integrated LC-MS/MS system ensuring consistent uptime and support through comprehensive service plans. Such a system would incorporate all of the key components in a single unit, including application-specific assays designed by vendors in close collaboration with clinical laboratories. With a system like this, you could benefit from increased ease-of-use, high accuracy of results, minimal downtime, rapid turnaround of results, and enhanced quality control of samples and calibrators.

We’ve listened. We’ve made this vision a reality.

  In response to these laboratory needs, the Thermo Scientific™ Cascadion™ SM Clinical Analyzer was introduced. The analyser was designed to help clinical laboratories embrace LC-MS/MS and take full advantage of the technology’s advanced analytical capabilities. As a dedicated, fully integrated clinical analyzer that comes complete with a full service and support plan, the Cascadion analyzer ultimately has the potential to revolutionize clinical testing.

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Product in development and not available for sale. Product not CE marked or FDA 510(k) cleared.