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ACMC expands lab services with $500,000 technology upgrade

Hospital news | Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Contact: John Broom

Ashtabula County Medical Center is updating the blood chemistry analyzers used in its laboratory.

ACMC’s outpatient lab offers blood draws from four primary locations on a walk-in basis:

Ashtabula County Medical Center

Monday - Friday: 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Saturday: 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Conneaut Family Health Center

Monday - Friday: 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Saturday: 7:30 a.m. to noon

Jefferson Family Health Center

Monday - Friday: 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Saturday: 8 a.m. to noon

Harbor Family Health Center

Monday - Friday: 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

The new analyzers are used to identify diseases and deficiencies in a patient’s blood and are capable of performing almost 100 different types of tests. Those tests include: basic lipid profiles, glucose, electrolytes, phosphorus, Vitamin D, tumor markers, cancer markers and autoimmune concerns.

Laboratory Director Dana Skaggs said, "We use the blood chemistry analyzers for most of the tests we do here. The new analyzers replaced five different units and combined three different forms of testing, which dramatically decreases our turnaround times and improves efficiency."

Skaggs said the chemical analyzers at ACMC perform 1.2 million tests each year, with an efficiency rate of 97% to 98%.

ACMC Healthcare System President & CEO Michael Habowski said the 1.2 million tests a year is more than a typical hospital of ACMC’s size would perform.

"Our goal is to keep as much healthcare here in Ashtabula County as possible. The new analyzers make it possible for the blood to be drawn here at ACMC and to be tested here rather than sent to an out-of-town reference lab."

Having the blood analyzed locally means patients and referring physicians receive results faster and can begin a plan of care sooner if one is needed.

The technology upgrade doesn’t just improve patient care and turnaround times. It is also a financial savings for the hospital.

"The cost of the blood chemistry analyzers is $500,000, but we will see significant saving – possibly millions of dollars – throughout the life of the units because of efficiencies and a reduced cost of supplies for the analyzers," said Habowski.

For more information, call 440-997-6627 or visit