Streamlining Urinalysis Workflows | Technology Networks

Urine analysis is an integral part of detecting and treating several disorders, ranging from urinary tract infections to diabetes. However, the frequent need for manual intervention can significantly affect the speed and accuracy of the results.

To learn more about the impact of manual monitoring on urine analysis labs and how automated solutions such as DxU Iris help streamline workflows, Technological networks talked to Jose CrespoSenior Director of Sales and Marketing in Europe, Beckman Coulter.

Anna MacDonald (AM): What improvements have been made in urine analysis to meet the new needs faced by laboratories? How has the pandemic affected the area?

Jose Crespo (JC): Today’s laboratories face many problems that cause disruption of work and, ultimately, delays in patient care – this is especially true when considering the problems associated with the pandemic for the laboratory process. A surge in coronavirus testing during the pandemic meant more routine tests were postponed. When it comes to urine analysis, the problems increase because routine urine analysis is one of the tests most often prescribed by doctors representing up to 30% of all the samples obtained.

Along with the operational problem of proper personnel, another obstacle faced by urine analysis laboratories is the frequent need to manually inspect the sediment. In urine analysis, there are usually two types of manual control procedures: microscopic examination, which is performed under a microscope, and examination of the on-board instrument, which is performed in the analyzer.

In manual microscopy, the traditional method, the urine rotates and the precipitate is observed manually through a microscope. Manual microscopic examination of sediments is a time-consuming process lacks standardization in laboratories and can take up to six times longer than the sample compared to automated systems. Given that many of the results of such tests are negative, alternatives are being sought to avoid workflow interruptions, required resources, and high overall system costs.

Inspection of the onboard device can be performed in the device and performed with the following particles: erythrocytes, white blood cells, white blood cell clots, bacteria, crystals, semen, mucus, yeast, squamous epithelial cells, non-squamous epithelial cells and hyaline.

Conducting manual inspections creates bottlenecks in work, causes employee fatigue and affects the morale of the laboratory. The key to successfully handling a large daily sample volume is high-throughput analyzers with reproducible capabilities that allow you to continuously provide vital services to patients in the event of instrument maintenance or unexpected downtime. The use of analyzers with automation, track and remote IT technologies should be mandatory in modern laboratories to allow staff to focus their experience throughout the laboratory, thus creating a seamless workflow.

AM: Why are breaks so detrimental to the urine analysis process? Can technology reduce these breaks?

JC: Any interruption for manual sample inspection increases the time required for this analysis workflow and also requires time-consuming intensive work. Moreover, there is no standardization in the process. With such breaks, patient outcomes are also delayed, affecting diagnostic and therapeutic guidance.

DxU technology helps minimize operator interference and interruptions with Edit-Free Release (EFR) technology. EFR technology optimizes the workflow in the lab, provides true automation and reduces execution time, minimizing operator interaction with test results, thus maximizing analyzer automation. Improving the efficiency of urine analysis and reducing workforce with iWARE automated testing software also ensures the reliability of test results – a standard feature for all DxU Iris Tools.

AM: How much has image analysis technology improved urine analysis?

JC: Imaging technology has revolutionized urine analysis. Reliable APR software evaluates particles by size, shape, contrast and texture. It automatically classifies 12 urine sediment particles and subclassifies 27 particles, resulting in a high level of confidence due to accurate particle identification and reduced execution time.

Utilizing patented digital flow morphology technology with automatic particle recognition (APR) software, DxU Iris Workcell helps isolate, identify and characterize particles on the screen to virtually eliminate the need for manual microscopy.

AM: Beckman Coulter has a long history of innovation in urine analysis. How does DxU Iris build on this legacy?

JC: DxU Iris uses advanced Beckman Coulter technology to optimize the urine analysis workflow by reducing manual examinations to less than 3%. It has the ability to download and send and release technology without editing, which minimizes interruptions and operator interference. We have added new advanced features to enhance the operator experience and access advanced software solutions that can improve lab system uptime. The solution has a new high-resolution monitor that improves image viewing. Our sleek, intuitive software user interface allows operators to navigate conveniently, access key background information and simplify learning on multiple Beckman Coulter instruments.

AM: Is it possible to analyze samples other than urine in the new DxU Iris?

JC: Yes. A feature is that the DxU microscopy series, which includes the recently launched DxU Iris, is only Urine analysis system with regulatory purification of body fluids with linearity to zero. A remarkable feature of DxU series liquid fluids for microscopy is that there is virtually no interruption in the workflow. Body fluids can be excreted simultaneously with the urine, leading to a more efficient process.

Jose Crespo spoke with Anna MacDonald, a science writer in technology networks.

Leave a Comment