Feasibility of standardizing automated laboratory analyzers on-board U.S. Naval Ships
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There are 75 Naval ships that have a medical laboratory aboard and laboratory technicians assigned (HM 8506-Advance Medical Laboratory Technicians) to perform testing. The purpose and function of laboratory technicians are to assist health care providers in (1) confirming or rejecting a diagnosis, (2) providing guidelines in patient management, (3) establishing a prognosis, (4) detecting disease through case finding or screening, and (5) monitoring follow- up therapy. Currently, no shipboard laboratory is configured quite the same. Even though the testing requirements are similar, the type of instrumentation and methodology used to accomplish testing varies from ship to ship. This research provides insight into the feasibility, effects, and benefits of standardizing automated laboratory analyzers aboard Navy ships. The author examined the current doctrine, selection, procurement and provisioning of shipboard laboratories and their impacts on training and fleet medical support. The findings show the overall effect of standardizing laboratory analyzers is improved combat readiness. The concerns of medical departments that led to non- standard analyzer procurement will be alleviated with fielding of the standardized equipment. Scarce resources, including funding, shipboard warehousing and laboratory space, and training resources are maximized.
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