Automation in the Clinical Laboratory
Published Online: 15 SEP 2006
Copyright © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. All rights reserved.
Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry
How to Cite
McPherson, R. A. 2006. Automation in the Clinical Laboratory. Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry. .
- Published Online: 15 SEP 2006
Total laboratory automation (TLA) is an approach to laboratory instrumentation that replaces human operators with robotic devices for the performance of highly repetitive tasks in the preparation and transport of specimens. TLA will consolidate the control and oversight for multiple different analytical instruments to a smaller number of operators, thus reducing the costs of labor in laboratory testing. Benefits of TLA include reduction of human errors in specimen handling and improvements in overall process control, including faster turn-around-times (TAT) from specimen collection to test result reporting. Possible detriments include very high costs for equipment installation and disruption of workforces trained in existing technologies. Most clinical laboratories will soon face a decision about implementing TLA (or portions of it) to reduce operating costs in order to offset falling reimbursements for medical services.