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Implementation of the WASPLab™ and first year achievements within a university hospital


In essence, automation can be driven by several of the following incentives: increased processing capacity of the laboratory, better costs control through processes standardization, optimized traceability, or improved workflows to reduce turnaround times (TAT). This project aims at presenting an overview of the project management and change management with a focus on the major challenges addressed by lab staff and laboratory leadership during the different phases of the implementation of the WASPLab™ in a routine clinical bacteriology laboratory. This paper reports our experience and reviews changes in the bacteriology laboratory at Geneva University Hospitals when shifting to the WASPLab™. Practically, the whole automation process was segmented into different packages (specimen type-based segmentation) allowing sequential validation, staff training, and routine implementation. Such process allowed reaching 90% of the identified “automatable” samples within 1 year, including personal training, documentation for accreditation supported by publications, without interrupting routine operations. In addition, we implemented a validated automated solution for antimicrobial disk diffusion susceptibility testing. Structured supervision and accurate monitoring of all the activities related to the automation project including key partners such as IT support, technical committee, and after-sales service guaranteed a swift and timely achievement of the project allowing the improvement of the workflow in routine bacteriology within 1 year.

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The authors would like to thank all the individuals directly or indirectly involved in the total automation project of the Bacteriology Laboratory at Geneva University Hospitals. We would like to express our appreciation to Claire Poyart (France), Pierrette Melin (Belgium), Oliver Nolte (Switzerland), Nadia Liassine (Switzerland), Theo Liebregts (Netherland), and Simone Ambretti, Michela Paolucci (Italy), for their expert advices.

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Authors and Affiliations



Abdessalam CHERKAOUI: Clinical microbiologist Ph.D. (manager of the biological aspects)

Gesuele RENZI: Expert medical laboratory technologist (co-manager of the biological aspects)

Arnaud VIOLLET: Biomedical engineer (technical aspects)

Mark FLEISCHMANN: Computer system analyst (institutional LIS aspects)

Ludovic METRAL-BOFFOD: Computer system analyst (IT connexions)

David DOMINGUEZ-AMADO: Expert medical laboratory technologist (pre-analytical aspects)

Nicolas VUILLEUMIER: Head of division

Jacques SCHRENZEL: Head of the bacteriology laboratory (medical and strategical aspects)

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Correspondence to Abdessalam Cherkaoui.

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Conflict of interest

JS received restricted research grants and participated to advisory boards from BioMérieux and Debiopharm. NV received restricted research grants from Roche. The remaining authors declare no conflict of interest.

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Cherkaoui, A., Renzi, G., Viollet, A. et al. Implementation of the WASPLab™ and first year achievements within a university hospital. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis 39, 1527–1534 (2020).

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  • Project management
  • Change management
  • Accuracy
  • Turnaround time
  • Efficiency
  • Workflow
  • WASPLab™