Israel’s Sheba Medical Center at Tel HaShomer, the largest hospital in the Middle East, has announced the launch of its innovative 'Mega Lab,' a state-of-the-art facility designed to deliver test results faster and more accurately, further improving patient care. Testing is a fundamental component of medical care, giving doctors the tools to accurately diagnose and treat patients to the best of their ability. Research has shown that up to 70% of errors in test results occur at the pre-analytical phase of testing, and that a quarter of those errors potentially adversely affect patient care. But by automating the process and streamlining the workflow, technicians at the Mega Lab have found that those errors can be significantly reduced, even while speeding up the time taken to get test results. “One area in which automation has significantly improved processes is during pre-analytical activities. These steps include order entry, centrifugation, barcode verification, sample check and more,” said Dr. Ram Doolman, PhD, NED, MPHA, Director, Laboratories Division & Automated Mega-Laboratory “The layout of a laboratory also has a direct effect on productivity and workflow because there must be enough space, so that work remains unhindered and employee safety is upheld.” Operating 24 hours a day, the lab uses an automated system developed by Sheba Medical Center's ARC Innovation Center. It can process routine and urgent tests alongside each other, sorting tests according to urgency and processing 7-8 tasks simultaneously, including identifying the test tube and the amount of fluid inside it. Over the last two years the lab has been upgraded the automation and analytic mechanisms with cutting edge technology from California, making it one of the most advanced facilities worldwide. “At the Mega Lab we run biochemistry, hematology, hemodynamic acid base status, urinalysis, coagulation, inflammation parameters and some pharmacological tests for patients with positive diagnosis of COVID-19 as part of their hospitalization and rehabilitation at Sheba’s coronavirus dedicated units,” said Dr Doolman. “Our staff has undergone intensive training to function in this complex, dynamic environment, and the technological advantages implemented in the lab, which will very soon include microbiology diagnostics, puts the Mega Lab in a class by itself, as the most advanced in the world.”Not only are the tests more accurate, but the time taken to perform them has been significantly reduced, giving doctors a head start on treating their patients. “With the new total laboratory automation we are able to react within thirty to sixty minutes rather than three to five hours for these patients,” particularly crucial in emergency situations such as critical coronavirus cases.