The Cost and Quality of Laboratory Automation: A Systematic Review

Megadianty Mokoginta, Amal Chalik Sjaaf


Faculty of Public Health, Universitas Indonesia



Background: An increased number of visit to health facilities increases the number of laboratory examination. Laboratories are required to achieve better efficiency, accu­ra­cy, standardization, quality, and patient safety. A strategy to meet this demand is la­bo­­ra­tory automation. However, some laboratories are hesitant to implement labora­to­ry au­tomation because of high cost and quality. This stu­dy aimed to systematically review the cost and quality of laboratory auto­ma­tion.

Subjects and Method: A systematic review was conducted by searching articles from 2009 to 2019 using PubMed, Science Direct, and Scopus databases. The keywords were “la­boratory auto­mation”, “clinical”, “cost”, and “quality”. The inclusion criteria were: (1) Articles published in English language; (2) Research or review articles; (3) Published from January 2009 to July 2019. The articles were reviewed based on PRIS­MA flow diagram.

Results: Seven articles reported a decrease in cost due to laboratory automation. The decrease in cost was mainly due to a decrease in the number of employees needed for cer­tain jobs. The quality aspect was mainly assessed using Turnaround Time (TAT). In rou­tine test laboratory, quality through TAT showed an increase, whereas in cito-examination the re­sults can still be validated according to the specified time. The first six months after the im­­plementation of laboratory automation was a vulnerable time due to several fac­tors, including untrained staff. Continuous improvement and close monitoring were needed at this time.

Conclusion: When implemented properly, laboratory automation can reduce cost and increase the quality.

Keywords: laboratory automation, clinical laboratory, cost, quality, turnaround time

Correspondence: Megadianty Mokoginta. Faculty of Public Health, Universitas Indonesia, Depok, West Java, Indonesia. Email: Mobile: 0811435556.


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