According to Karen Battista, laboratory manager at QC Laboratories, Lean Six Sigma process analysis revealed that Bio-Rad’s pathogen detection method outperformed the methods the laboratory previously used in accuracy, time efficiency, and cost effectiveness. The iQ-Check Prep Automation Solution consists of the iQ-Check Prep System, a liquid handling system that automates sample preparation for real-time PCR, and iQ-Check Real-Time PCR Kits.
Battista said Bio-Rad’s pathogen detection method was highly accurate, with no reported false positives or negatives. In addition, she values that the iQ-Check Prep System can detect whether a sample is present, which prevents misinterpretation of a negative result.
“For instance, if a technician forgets to add a sample, Bio-Rad’s instrument makes this clear,” said Battista. “The system we used before in the laboratory could only indicate a negative result, but it couldn’t say whether this was due to a lack of sample.”
The iQ-Check Prep System’s walk-away automation functionality, which allows significantly less hands-on time with the instrument, was another important consideration.
“Once our technicians start the instrument, they can walk away and do other tasks,” said Battista. “Less hands-on time during sample preparation greatly reduces the opportunity for errors. This was not possible with our previous automation system.”
The laboratory manager also noted the price point and ease of use, which helped make her decision to consolidate the laboratory’s multiple methods to Bio-Rad’s system an easy one.
Of equal importance to the iQ-Check Prep System’s performance, according to Battista, was the considerable support that Bio-Rad provided during the installation and testing process.
“Not only was Bio-Rad’s method superior to our previous system in all facets, Bio-Rad was a true partner and representatives were always there if we needed anything,” said Battista.