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New & Used Centrifugal Laboratory Analyzer

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Centrifugal Laboratory Analyzer may also be referred to as :

Clinical Chemistry Analyzer, Automated, Centrifugal | Chemistry Analyzer | Chemical Analizer | Centrifugal Analyzer | Analyzer, Laboratory, Clinical Chemistry, Automated, Centrifugal | Analyzer, Centrifugal

Tips for buying Centrifugal Laboratory Analyzer

A clinical chemistry analyzer, like any other analytical instrument, must provide consistently accurate and timely test data to be cost-effective. An inexpensive centrifugal laboratory analyzer with low-cost reagents that breaks down frequently, requires a high percentage of repeat tests. The device is labor-intensive to use and may cost more over time than a more expensive clinical chemistry analyzer that is durable, analyzes samples accurately and reliably, and is relatively easy to operate. However, before considering instrument quality, a laboratory must determine if its own chemistry needs to correspond with the capabilities of the clinical chemistry analyzer. Purchasers should consider a centrifugal laboratory analyzer that can fulfill laboratory requirements such as the following:


  • Performing the kinds of tests and test profiles (i.e., combinations of tests) requested by the physicians in the facility. Clinical chemistry analyzers that have random access testing can perform a variety of tests simultaneously and can reduce turnaround time for the results of certain test profiles
  • Processing the specimen workload (stat test counts should be considered separately from nonemergency tests in calculating the needed throughput).
  • Handling the work flow (i.e., the varying numbers of specimens submitted to the laboratory throughout the day).
  • Fitting in the available laboratory space.
  •  Requiring relatively little time and training to learn to operate based on the degree of sophistication of the centrifugal chemistry analyzer equipment and the level of experience, competence, and training of the laboratory personnel who will operate it. In addition to these basic requirements, other clinical chemistry analyzer features that should be considered are walk-away capability, preferred report format, bar coding, the ability to run different types of samples, automated sample dilution, onboard reagent stability, and closed-tube sampling. ECRI recommends that all centrifugal chemistry analyzers have alarms that alert users to any system failure (e.g., insufficient reagents, out-of-range errors) that can produce false results.
  • Centrifugal laboratory analyzer buyers should be aware that a clinical chemistry analyzer's throughput depends on the number and type of tests performed by the instrument during a particular time. Very high throughput claims by a manufacturer may be based on tests that react rapidly to the addition of chromogenic reagent (i.e., have short incubation times) and quickly show measurable results. Centrifugal laboratory analyzer manufacturers should reveal the test profile — the number and kinds of tests — used to determine analyzer throughput claims.
  1. Final regulations of the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment of 1988 (CLIA ‘88) were published in February 1992 by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Under the CLIA ‘88 regulations, all clinical laboratories are required to obtain federally issued certificates. To acquire a certificate, a lab must meet all relevant standards, which are determined by the complexity of the tests being performed.
  2. The standards set forth by CLIA ‘88 apply to areas such as patient test management, quality control (QC), proficiency testing, personnel qualifications, and quality assurance programs. Certification fees vary according to complexity level and test volume. There are three different levels of complexity outlined in the CLIA regulations — waived, moderate complexity, and high complexity. Waived tests require little or no training or experience to perform, do not require elaborate quality control, and therefore, are less likely to produce inaccurate results. Non-automated dipstick urinalysis is one of several waived tests. The moderate-complexity category encompasses most clinical laboratory tests, including automated urine, blood, and chemistry analyses. Tests and centrifugal laboratory analyzers in this group require a limited amount of sample and reagent preparation, as well as limited operator intervention during the analytical process. The high-complexity classification covers more specific testing, which requires extensive education and training in the specialty. Procedures that necessitate a high degree of operator preparation, calibration, intervention, and analysis, such as clinical cytogenics and histopathology applications, are placed in the highly complex category.
  3. Before purchasing new clinical chemistry analyzer equipment or upgrading existing clinical chemistry analyzer equipment, laboratories should thoroughly investigate the CLIA regulations that apply to their facility and to the centrifugal laboratory analyzer devices being considered. In certain situations, purchasing or upgrading a centrifugal laboratory analyzer device may change the complexity category of the procedures. This could require additional staff training and certification, as well as changes in QC, proficiency testing, quality assurance programs, and other laboratory procedures. With clinical chemistry analyzers, an important consideration is the system's computer interface capabilities. The effectiveness of the interface with the laboratory information system (LIS) or the hospital's central computer system is crucial for inputting test data, verifying testing accuracy, and maintaining QC, calibration, proficiency testing, and patient files according to CLIA. Although CLIA does not mandate computerized reporting systems in hospital laboratories, it does require labs to have a system in place to ensure compliance with CLIA performance standards for QC and quality assurance of patient testing instruments and procedures. An LIS is a fast and efficient way to manage the large volume of test data that a laboratory generates each day, as well as a convenient method to organize and store data needed to comply with CLIA and other inspection agencies' requirements. Hospitals should perform a cost assessment of the centrifugal laboratory analyzer's operating features, such as its testing reliability and accuracy, cost per reportable result, stat time, average downtime, QC and calibration methods and frequency, start-up procedures and time, and the cost of labor, consumables, maintenance, and service.
  4. Also included in this assessment should be nonoperational but essential expenses such as: clinical chemistry analyzer installation (e.g., some clinical chemistry analyzers require special plumbing and/or water filters), the disposal costs for solid and liquid waste generated by the unit, and reagent preparation and storage.
  5. In addition to reagents and other disposables, the cost of consumables should also include an estimate of the amount of water used over a specified time by centrifugal laboratory analyzers that require a water reagent supply. Centrifugal laboratory analyzer water costs can range from relatively small amounts to a significant proportion of an instrument's overall operational costs. Using deionized water may be much more expensive than using local water.
  6. The centrifugal laboratory analyzer purchaser should carefully evaluate the manufacturer's service, which should include 24-hour hotline access. The buyer should also inquire about the terms of the warranty (e.g., some may not include preventive maintenance visits), as well as which service contracts are available, what they include, and what discounts are available if the contracts are purchased at the same time as the centrifugal laboratory analyzer. The buyer should also inquire about service coverage if other manufacturers' reagents are used on the clinical chemistry analyzer. Hospitals can purchase service contracts or service on a time-and-materials basis from the vendor. Service may also be available from a third-party organization.
  7. State-of-the-art computer-driven centrifugal laboratory analyzers can become obsolete in a very short time, if they cannot be adapted for future advances in hardware development or accept software upgrades. Clinical chemistry analyzers that have the flexibility to accept these kinds of improvements have a long-term advantage over those that do not. By the same token, clinical chemistry analyzers that have open channels can be programmed to perform new analytical tests as they are developed by the instrument manufacturer. Most clinical chemistry vendors provide routine software updates, which enhance the system's performance, at no charge to service contract customers. Furthermore, software updates are often cumulative; that is, previous software revisions may be required in order to install and operate a new performance feature. Many clinical chemistry vendors do not extend system performance and uptime guarantees beyond the length of the warranty unless the system is covered by a service contract. ECRI recommends that hospitals negotiate pricing for service contracts before the system is purchased, to maximize bargaining leverage. Additional service contract discounts may be negotiable for multiple-year agreements, or service contracts that are bundled with contracts on other centrifugal laboratory analyzers in the department or hospital.
  8. Buyers should also negotiate for a non-obsolescence clause stating that the clinical chemistry analyzer vendor agrees not to introduce a replacement system within the next one or two years, and if a replacement system is introduced during this time period, 100% of the purchase price can be applied to the purchase of the new centrifugal laboratory analyzer.
  9. In addition, given the current highly competitive market for clinical chemistry analyzer equipment, hospitals should negotiate for a significant discount — some vendors may discount up to 20% or 30%. The actual discount received will depend on the hospital's negotiating skills, the system configuration and model to be purchased, the number of units being purchased, previous experience with the vendor, and the extent of concessions granted by the vendor, such as extended warranties, fixed prices for annual service contracts, and guaranteed on-site service response.
  10. Buyers should make sure that application training is included in the purchase price of the clinical chemistry analyzer. Some vendors do offer more extensive on-site or off-site training programs for an additional cost. ECRI recommends that buyers consider the number and types of tests performed before deciding on a specific system configuration. Also, if multiple centrifugal laboratory analyzers are being purchased, hospitals should consider the types of systems and capabilities that need to be purchased to avoid paying for unnecessary analysis packages.
  11. For instance, a hospital may want to purchase two centrifugal laboratory analyzers, one dedicated to routine general chemistry profiles, and one for stat testing. In this case, purchasing both clinical chemistry analyzers from one vendor could result in a significant discount. Standardization of equipment can make staff training easier, simplify servicing and parts acquisition, and provide greater bargaining leverage when negotiating new equipment purchases and/or service contract costs. Current clinical chemistry analyzer users are valuable sources of information on the quality, reliability, and overall efficiency of the instruments. Buyers should ask centrifugal laboratory analyzer manufacturers to supply an unedited list of their customers when considering an instrument.
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