Central Kansas Family Practice (CKFP) is one of the few family practices in the area to offer an in-house laboratory. Recently, the practice invested in a new piece of laboratory equipment that is improving the relevance of the lab and its services. The new tabletop chemistry analyzer is an Alfa Wasserman Axcel, an upgrade from the machine they were using previously. Not only does it save space compared to the larger, old-fashioned machine but it performs a large variety of chemistry tests to help the CKFP staff provide results to its patients as quickly as possible.
“This new machine allows CKFP to do in-house testing, whereas a lot of other family practice offices have to send lab work off to another facility,” says Jean Powers, Manager for the CKFP Laboratory. “The tests that are done regularly to monitor diabetes, cholesterol, liver function, uric acid, and many others are done frequently to keep an eye on the patient’s health, so doing them in-house saves them time.”
The lab has also improved the methods for INR testing. The international normalized ratio (INR) is used to monitor patients taking blood-thinning medications. Previously, patients had to have blood drawn so it could be spun for fifteen minutes before the chemistry could be analyzed. Now these tests are done with a finger stick, which is faster and less invasive for the patient. It also helps improve the efficiency of the lab operation overall.