New lab equipment pride and joy of staff and providers

February 4, 2020

Blog

It’s been an exciting year at Western New York BloodCare, and we’re only getting started. We’ve moved to our new location, developed more momentum for our S.H.E. Clinic, and we’ve upgraded our laboratory to improve our services for the patients that depend on us daily.

The new facility itself is quite an upgrade, nestled cozily in the downtown medical campus. With onsite parking, expanded care areas, and state-of-the-art technology, we are primed to best serve our patients. We are also incredibly excited that our new laboratory equipment has been delivered, set up, and calibrated. It’s ready to rock, and so are we.

Our laboratory manager, Karen Kovach, has implemented the new system in order to take our evaluations to unprecedented levels of surety. “The new equipment is the ACL Top 500. We obtained this new equipment to coincide with our move. New equipment needs to be validated and this way we only needed to perform this once. Our old equipment was 10 years old which is a normal cycle for lab equipment,” Karen explains. It’s important to develop the ability to keep tests in-house as much as possible. Not only does it save time, but it also minimizes the potential for contamination of a sample, and our patients can be assured that Karen and her trusted staff have executed all of the testing.

“The benefits include automating one test that is now manual and adding one test that is now a send out. There is also the potential for adding a couple new tests to our menu in the future.”

There is no greater goal than accuracy in testing when it comes to bleeding disorders. Everything depends on getting it right – treatment, medication…everything. That’s where the new equipment has the biggest benefit. “We always ensure that our testing is reflective of our patient population regardless of platforms; for example, our factor assays are accurate to < 1 percent. This is not the case for all laboratories performing factor assays.”

The ACL Top 500 is an incredible piece of machinery. It is rated and reviewed very highly, and Select Science described the Top 500 as having superior functionality at the right size. The ACL TOP 500 CTS matches unique testing capabilities in a system of its size, with end-to-end automation for simplicity and maximum operator productivity. A complete solution for routine, medium- to high-volume and specialty labs, the ACL TOP 500 CTS features the advanced technology of the ACL TOP 700. With a broad menu for routine and specialty assays, the ACL TOP 500 CTS is ideal for broad spectrum lab needs and testing volumes.

Dr. Adam Kotowski was a huge advocate for the upgrade. Dr. Kotowski is our adult hematologist, medical director, and a dedicated specialist in his own practice. His history has given him a unique perspective on our work at Western New York BloodCare.

“I’ve been working at the center for the last eight years, and I’ve specialized with coagulation disorders for most of those years. We have focused on not only bleeding disorders, but also thrombosis in the community. Most of my background with bleeding disorders centers on coagulation and clotting disorders, but I also work at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, and some of the satellite offices, where we manage other hematology and oncology diseases.

His love of the lab came from his early days as a medical student. “After finishing the first year, we’re all asked to either go home and enjoy your first year off, or decide to do extra work, so I signed on with Roswell Park in the lymphoma department, and in the laboratory, where I worked on basic science research. Throughout med school, we continued to work through options that focused on research.”

“The basic science knowledge I acquired has given me the opportunity to better understand some of the new drugs and new molecules, and to have a better understanding of the ways the trials are conducted so I can talk to my patients more in-depth about certain products. It gives me a certain comfort in the proper tools to teach someone in very common-sense terms.”

Technology, like the upgrade in our lab, has kept Dr. Kotowski interested in the advancement of treatment for bleeding disorders. “One aspect of hematology that has kept my attention is the innovation throughout the field. There are always new medications and new mechanisms being discovered. It is very much a growing field, and I always loved the challenge of learning an extensive amount of information.”

Western New York BloodCare has utilized Dr. Kotowski’s quest for knowledge and knack for innovation with its own important research. “We’ve been allowed to open up clinical trials within the center, and it allows us to expand – not only to database trials, but more groundbreaking, treatment changing trials. New drugs that will be coming to the market, and options for our patients, for example.”

Dr. Kotowski is proud to see the way that Western New York BloodCare is developing, and the innovations and technologies incorporated in the evolving care. “We have been offered a gene therapy trial, and doing the basic science research allows us to continue to open up a variety of gene trials that have the potential to be curative, or even where patients experience long-lasting levels of five to ten years of typical functionality.”

We are proud of our providers and staff, and their commitment to continuing to improve the methods and technology we have access to for the betterment of our patients. Karen and Dr. Kotowski have shown that their passion to serve our patients and our community will help Western New York BloodCare in its persistent pursuit of excellence.

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