Severn Trent Services' automate Legionella laboratory process
14 July 2011, News release from Severn Trent Services
Severn Trent Services recently introduced a Micro Data Entry (MDE) Barcoding system that will improve data recording for Microbiology analysis.
Severn Trent Services, Coventry, United Kingdom -July 14, 2011 -
Severn Trent Services prides itself on its drive for quality, but some of their laboratory processes can be prone to human error. To ensure accuracy of data, the quickest solution is to implement a series of checks whereby a colleague verifies an analyst's work. However, this process can rapidly become inefficient and time consuming.
Within their dedicated Legionella laboratory at Coventry, Severn Trent Services have recently introduced an automated data entry system that will eliminate the possible transcript errors that can occur with a manual process.
The automated system not only improves the level of accuracy, but also increases throughput of the laboratory, allowing Severn Trent Services to handle an increased number of Legionella samples. Initially, the MDE project was introduced to assist in the processing of samples through the laboratory by introducing barcodes; automating the sample weighing process and recording the date and time of sample filtration and plate inoculation. Over an extended period of time the MDE project was expanded to include the Legionella plate reading process.
The new automated system works by generating a set of plate labels for each sample, which is then registered within the MDE database. At each stage of the reading process these labels are scanned and the user prompted to enter the status of the plate at that time. Should a presumptive positive Legionella result be found at this stage, additional labels are generated for the agar plates required for confirmation to be carried out.
If a presumptive result is confirmed as positive the analyst is prompted to enter the number of confirmed colonies present on each of the three original plates associated with the sample. The software will then choose from these the value that will yield the highest effective count, apply a calculation to determine the number of Legionella colonies per litre and automatically enter this result. Should a sample complete its analysis and be found negative, MDE will also enter this negative result against the sample in the same way. Results of the analysis are then provided to the customer.
Since implementation in May 2011 the software has been validated for accuracy against previous processes, and training rolled out to the entire team. Since its implementation, Severn Trent Services have seen no transcript errors in the Legionella plate reading and data-entry processes.
About Analytical Services
Severn Trent Services' Analytical Services division offers leading solutions in Water, Land and Waste analysis, providing scientific services in Chemistry, Microbiology and Ecotoxicology. We also offer a range of support services including Sampling, Scheduling, Field Services, equipment for hire, Key Account Management and Project Management to help our customers find a solutions package that meets their requirements. We are committed to delivering a reliable, consistent and quality service for our customers. Severn Trent Laboratories is a Severn Trent Services company.
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