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Test Tube Travels

Test tube travels is the full journey of biomaterial from the moment of extraction to release of results.
  • How does blood in a test tube transform into a paper with important clinical data?
  • Why does every test require specific biomaterial transportation conditions?
  • Why INVITRO test results have super accuracy and reliability?
  • Plotting test tube travels helps to find answers to these and many other questions. Let’s go!
    Step 1. In INVITRO medical office
    INVITRO works with the primary test tube only, each application and biomaterial sample is assigned a unique barcode. Medical offices employ an information system – Nurse Automated Work Site – NAWS. NAWS is intended for electronic registration of test applications. When applications are registered, the system automatically defined what tubes and containers are to be used, in what quantity and what sequence biomaterial needs to be extracted to run the tests.
    Proper extraction of biomaterial is crucially important for the whole laboratory testing, as some pre-analytical factors (used anti-coagulant, proportion of biomaterial and anti-coagulant, probe qualities (hemolysis, chyles, blood clogs)) may substantially influence the results. Medical offices use Vacuette vacutainers to extract biomaterials (Greiner Bio-One, Austria).
    Marking (barcode with name) is applied to the test tube after biomaterial is extracted strictly in the presence of the patient. Barcode becomes patient’s personal card and is stored in laboratory electronic database. If a patient uses INVITRO services continuously, he/she can order a dynamic map of tests.
    Step 2. Transportation
    17-22C below zero transportation mode Biomaterials are delivered from medical offices to laboratory in special thermocontainers. Transportation is carried out under temperature conditions specific for every test. E.g. if biomaterial requires 17-22C below zero transportation mode, cooling elements are first frozen in the refrigerator for at least 48 hours. Before dispatch such elements are put into thermocontainer in special order and only then test tubes with frozen biomaterial are placed there. Temperature is controlled by special thermochrones, that record container internal temperature every 30 minutes during transportation. When the cargo arrives to the laboratory, each termochrone data is read and checked. +2+8C transportation mode If biomaterials need to be delivered under +2+8C temperature, cooling elements are cooled down in the refrigerator at +2 - +8C for at least 24 hours. Before dispatch such elements are put into thermocontainer in special order and only then test tubes with not frozen biomaterial are placed there. Temperature control is provided by a temperature clock. Upon delivery to the laboratory temperature clock is inserted in a special device, connected to a computer. Computer screen shows temperature curve relaying whether required mode was observed throughout the whole transportation period. Above zero temperatures are controlled at same intervals as below zero.
    Logistics is the basis for timely delivery of biomaterials to laboratories. Logistics service runs like a clockwork and delivery schedule is measured by minutes. Laboratory complexes operate today in 5 cities only – Moscow, St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Chelyabinsk and one in Ukraine, so in many cities logistics is more complicated and calls for speediest delivery of biomaterials to laboratory. In such cases biomaterials are delivered from medical offices to airports by couriers. Thermocontainers are transported to one of four laboratories by air. Delivery service picks up biomaterials and delivers to laboratory. It is important to choose a proper flight, as timing is crucial.
    Stage 3. Test tube registration on arrival to the laboratory
    Laboratory part of pre-analytical stage begins with probes and papers delivery to the laboratory. Upon arrival to INVITRO registration clerks check the tubes against papers, condition of biomaterials, time of extraction, exact time of arrival is stamped automatically. Should the test tube arrive spoilt or damaged, this information is recorded in pre-analytic errors logbook. Medical offices personnel is informed accordingly and advised on possible solutions to repair this or that error.
    Stage 4. Laboratory work
    Sorting station
    At the laboratory test tubes with biomaterials first come to pre-analytic sorting station. Test tubes with bar codes are automatically sorted and distributed to work flows. Usage of this equipment excludes possible manual sorting errors and errors at biomaterial transfer to secondary test tubes. Technologist gives every test tube a visual check for hemolysis, clogs etc. prior to transferring them from the sorter to analyzer.
    INVITRO laboratories use modern automatic analyzers providing high quality of results. The four laboratory complexes use latest equipment made in Japan, Switzerland, USA, France.
    How the equipment works
    Automatic analyzer working cycle consists of the following steps: the device automatic manipulator carefully moves the test tube into barcode reading zone, then analytical system demands the task from laboratory information system, receives it automatically and begins analysis. Upon completion the result is displayed on the screen and is automatically sent to laboratory information system for validation.
    Information system
    Analyzers, used in the laboratory, are united by a unique for Russia laboratory information system SafirLIS, specially adapted for INVITRO by Swedish company PROFDOC LAB AB. SafirLIS provides reliable registration, storage and quick search of test results. Thanks to united information system, connecting all medical offices of INVITRO and laboratories into one entity, when receptionist in a medical office takes care of your application, laboratory is already awaiting a test tube with your biomaterial.
    In INVITRO laboratory tests results go through triple confirmation: system, technological and medical. This means that at first stage the result is validated by laboratory system, then it is confirmed by a technologist, responsible for testing. Final result comes to a doctor, who looks it through, confirms it or takes a decision to hold additional tests. In case screening tests for especially dangerous infections, TORCH-infections give positive results, confirming tests are obligatory performed.
    Stage 5. Obtaining results.
    A patient can receive test results by phone, fax, e-mail or in medical office. We also text a message upon tests readiness, so a patient does not need to worry when to call INVITRO or check mail.