Urine sediment analysis, or urine microscopy, focuses on the measurement and description of the formed elements of urine. In the traditional method (manual microscopy), urine is spun and the sediment is observed manually through a microscope.2
This approach, while effective, is labor-intensive and prone to subjectivity. Not surprisingly, laboratories not employing automated alternatives have developed rules from clinical parameters or urinalysis results to limit the number of these examinations.2
The Need For Laboratory Automation
Previously, the methodology that Broadlawns Medical Center laboratory was using proved costly – not only because of the excessive use of the technologist’s time but also in terms of the supplies needed.
With the combined urinalysis, hematology and coagulation departments, priority runs were generally given to STAT hematology testing. This occasionally caused a decreased turnaround time in the manual urinalysis review. To further delay matters, the reflex protocol resulted in a recorded average of 66.5% of routine urine samples being reflexed for microscopy exam.
Automation Drives Results for Broadlawns Medical Center
In the fall of 2018, Broadlawns Medical Center implemented the use of the iQ Workcell urinalysis solution pairing iQ200 urine microscopy and Arkray AUTION MAX™ AX-4030 fully automated urine chemistry analyzer in their laboratory.
Before implementing this automated solution, each manual microscopy took approximately 14 minutes — including spinning, reading, manual review, and entering results. Post-implementation turnaround time was reduced to 5 minutes, allowing technologists to utilize the 9-minute difference on critical areas of the laboratory.