Users compliment Mylab’s mobile application

Published 24.10.2013

Users compliment Mylab’s mobile application

Users are extremely satisfied with Mylab’s mobile application for urgent sampling. 91% of users at HUSLAB, a laboratory enterprise owned by the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa, find the system to be easy to use and 80% say that it saves them time and effort.

Mylab’s mobile emergency sampling application was introduced in early 2013 at three of the Helsinki University Hospitals: Meilahti Hospital, the Children’s Hospital and the Women’s Hospital.

– Laboratory technologists used to receive sampling requests on their desk terminals, they printed the labels at the laboratory, then took the tests to the ward and finally took the samples back to the laboratory for analysis. This meant a constant flow of traffic between the laboratory and the wards, describes Eija Syväsalo, HUSLAB’s Laboratory Services Manager, at the Laboratory Medicine and Exhibition 2013 event in Helsinki.

Distances between different hospital units within the Meilahti hospital area are considerable, which meant that laboratory technologists had to go back and forth between the wards and the laboratory. Planning and coordination of work was challenging, because urgent sampling calls tied up resources both on the wards and in the laboratory.
Currently, labels for laboratory samples are printed on the ward when test requests are entered into the Weblab Clinical system. The laboratory technologists acknowledge the requests with their smartphones. The test requests are displayed in the mobile application in real time and the ward does not need to call the laboratory separately.

– Currently, the labels are still printed in the offices on the wards, which means a few more steps for the laboratory technologists, but this minor issue will soon be history, thanks to Mylab’s mobile label printer that will become available this autumn, Syväsalo says.

Meeting customer needs

70 laboratory technologists, that is, 85% of HUSLAB users, answered a survey on user experiences in September.
87% of users considered that the mobile application was suitable for sampling in the ward’s emergency unit. 91% of users think that the system is easy to use and 80% feel that it saves them time and effort.

– The mobile application is indeed easy to use: even those who had previously not used a phone with a touchscreen learned it easily, Syväsalo commends.

73% of users replied that the mobile system makes it easier to plan urgent sampling and cooperation with other wards.

– Many users suggested that there should be a mobile label printer that would fit on the sampling trolley. This wish will soon become reality.

A few more customer requests will also be implemented in the near future: the mobile application will get an automatic refresh of requests and will play a sound when there is a new urgent request.

Rapid response

Has the mobile system actually made the laboratory process faster? According to Syväsalo, it is not possible to estimate the effect accurately right now, because there have been changes in the operations of the Women’s Hospital and the Children’s Hospital. Some positive effects can be discerned at Meilahti Hospital.
For example, delays in urgent complete blood counts (CBC) have been reduced by approximately five minutes compared with September 2012. Time to sampling from results has not changed, so the time-saving effect is likely to be due to the mobile system.

– The saving will at least double, when mobile label printing becomes available, Syväsalo believes.

According to Eija Syväsalo, the mobile system has already become a routine part of urgent sampling. The plan is to start using the mobile system at other Helsinki University Hospitals next.

Text and photos: Virpi Ekholm

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