Automation in routine bacteriology – experience with the WASP® inoculation robot

Laboratory characteristics:

  • privately owned laboratory, founded 1977
  • serving the Lake of Constance region (two counties with appr. 870,000 inhabitants)
  • 42 employees (MD’s, PhD, Tech, field)
  • we are serving:
    • 8 regional hospitals (largest: 425 bed unit/13,000 patients/2008)
    • > 350 office physicians
    • pharmaceutical and food industries, Constance university

Sample development and workforce

  • increasing number of orders in PCR and bacteriology
  • increasing requirements for QA
  • decrease in available high trained personnel
  • need for automation

Sample types and diversity:

27570 orders were processed in 2010 with an average of 1.98 specimens per order. The most prevalent sample types were swabs (33%) followed by urines and stool. Due to sender specific requirements, as much as 87 protocols are in use for automated streaking!

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