WEIRTON - Weirton Medical Center announced that it is the first hospital in the region to install two Siemens' Dimension Vista 500 Intelligent Lab Systems and to offer in-house vitamin D testing.
The Vista analyzer is a new, advanced class of lab testing equipment that integrates four technologies with on-board automation (robotics) to create a system that revolutionizes the way the hospital's laboratory functions.
David Michetti, BA C(ASCP) MS, division director of ancillary services at Weirton Medical Center said, "The Vista analyzer eliminates many manual tasks so our technologists and technicians are freed up to address critical issues in the laboratory. These analyzers have reduced the testing times for many of our tests so patients in areas such as the emergency department or critical care can be treated more quickly."
Waiting for test results can become critical factors in the treatment of serious medical conditions such as heart attacks. Troponin, a protein that elevates when an individual suffers a heart attack, is routinely checked to confirm a heart attack while the patient is in the emergency department. Michetti said the new Siemens' lab system cuts the testing time to about 20 minutes, which will speed up treatment times for heart attack patients at Weirton Medical Center.
He figures they'll do roughly 600,000 to 700,000 tests performed on these analyzers per year.
"'Twinning' two analyzers further reduces testing times because when one analyzer is busy, the test is automatically sent to the second analyzer rather than waiting for the first analyzer to become available," Michetti explained.
Dr. Joseph P. Endrich, president and chief executive officer of Weirton Medical Center, said he is pleased that Weirton Medical Center now has the new technology. "It is critical that we obtain accurate test results as quickly as possible and get this information into the hands of our physicians so they can make effective decisions about their patients' medical care," he said.
Also new to the laboratory at Weirton Medical Center is vitamin D testing. Vitamin D is essential in the formation and maintenance of strong, healthy bones. Recently, many chronic diseases such as cancer and osteoporosis have been linked to vitamin D deficiency.
"The laboratory at Weirton Medical Center is the first regional laboratory to provide vitamin D testing on-site because of our Siemens' Centaur instrumentation that is in the laboratory," Michetti said. "We sent over 2,300 vitamin D tests to an outside reference lab last year. We will now be able to perform this test in our laboratory and provide more timely results to physicians."