Laboratory Upgrade Enhances Patient Safety and Quality of Care at Hospitals of Community Healthcare System

By: Community Healthcare System Last Updated: August 17, 2016

Laboratory-Upgrade-Enhances-Patient-Safety-and-Quality-of-Care-at-Hospitals-of-Community-Healthcare-SystemNew technology in the Central Laboratory at the hospitals of Community Healthcare System is providing faster results to physicians and providing patients with the highest level of accuracy. This fully integrated, automated technology is being utilized by all three hospitals of Community Healthcare System: Community Hospital in Munster, St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago and St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart – first hospital system in Northwest Indiana with this capability.

“Our hospital system has invested more than $5 million to bring the latest, most advanced technology available to our labs for the greatest impact on the safety and quality of care for our patients,” said Donald P. Fesko, President and Chief Executive Officer, Community Foundation of Northwest Indiana, parent company to the Community Healthcare System. “Installation of the new analyzers represents another step in our commitment to continuously improve the quality of our patient care.”

The new analyzers, the Cobas® 8100 and two Cobas® 8000, enhance and consolidate the testing process for blood samples and chemistry panels ordered by physicians. The equipment helps to make the lab more efficient by reducing manual sample handling. Adding on testing to an existing sample is accomplished by adding the test into the computer. Robotics retrieve the sample and process the add-on test. Previously, the sample needed to be manually retrieved and placed back on the instrument. The analytics of the 8000 series line is bidirectional, so test samples are archived on the analyzer, streamlining the process and adding to the efficiency.

The Central Laboratory of Community Healthcare System processes approximately 3 million tests annually, said Elizabeth Yee, Vice President, Clinical Ancillary Services. As the number of lab tests continues to increase, it is essential for the laboratory to upgrade its capabilities and improve efficiencies to provide the best service.

“By streamlining the process with automated equipment and reducing the opportunity for error, the laboratory can ensure the highest quality and turnaround,” Yee said.

“Combining the new analyzer technology with other state-of-the-art processors such as our bar-code specimen tracking system, enables our hospitals to attain new levels of patient safety and security,” Yee said.

For more information about the innovative programs and technologies making a difference in the lives of patients at the hospitals of Community Healthcare System: Community Hospital in Munster, St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago and St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart, visit our website at