It’s a scene most patients never see.

Behind the laboratory doors at Rapides Regional Medical Center are 93 medical technologists, medical technicians, lab assistants and phlebotomists working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to make sure your physicians have all the laboratory information they need.

“Approximately 50 percent of the patients’ lab charts contain laboratory testing information,” said Kim Middleton, MLS (ASCP) CLS, Laboratory Administrative Director. “We process about 2 million samples a year in our laboratory. That includes inpatient, outpatient testing and samples from physician offices and other medical facilities.

So, when the time came to replace existing laboratory equipment, RRMC upgraded to a cobas 811 from Roche Diagnostics.

“This is the first cobas 811 in Louisiana and we are the 12th in the country,” Middleton said. “This is a preanalytical system that centrifuges aliquots, applies barcode labels and transports specimens directly to our chemistry analyzers for testing.

“It saves us a lot of walking and a lot of transporting.”

Equipment arrived in May and went online in August.

“It was seamless,” Middleton said. “It was the smoothest installation we’ve ever been through. The staff from Roche was here with us every step of the way.”

With the cobas 811, the RRMC lab is capable of processing even more samples per year.

“This machine will help improve our patient care experience by giving us faster turnaround times,” Middleton said. “It also allows for less hands-on processing for the staff. It’s just another way for us to ensure high-quality, cost-effective care.”