Media Release

03.03.2022

Improving Alberta’s patient care: Alberta Precision Laboratories and Roche Diagnostics join forces to ensure accurate diagnosis and time saving through provincial integration and standardization of lab equipment.

  • New integrated core lab equipment will enhance quality and consistency of patients’ lab tests across Alberta.
  • Standardization of routine lab testing allows staff to focus on more important tasks and will save millions of dollars per year.
  • Roche’s cobas® pro integrated solutions and cobas® 8000 modular analyzers will be used to process 80% of routine lab work in the province.
  • 16 regional and centralized lab sites across the province will use Roche’s instruments, assays and digital solutions.
  • Through Roche’s solutions and standardized equipment, Alberta Precision Laboratories will provide crucial insights for improved patient care.
  • Roche’s advanced diagnostics and aggregated healthcare data will support clinicians across Alberta in making the right diagnosis at the right time.

 

EDMONTON, AB, March 3, 2022 /CNW Telbec – Roche Diagnostics, division of Hoffmann-La Roche Limited, and Alberta Precision Laboratories (APL) – a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alberta Health Services (AHS) – have joined forces to improve and deliver quality patient care in Alberta by integrating and standardizing the province’s lab equipment. Roche instruments will be used in 16 regional and centralized lab sites across the province, including Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and Grande Prairie. The installation has been completed at four sites (Red Deer, Lethbridge, Grande Prairie and Calgary’s South Health Campus) with all sites to be fully integrated by summer 2022. This partnership is the outcome of APL’s vision for improved patient care through world-class laboratory medicine and Roche’s leadership in diagnostics worldwide and in Canada.  

 

“Partnering with Roche Diagnostics is another example of how Alberta’s integrated lab system is providing higher quality and a more consistent and efficient laboratory service across the province. APL continues to show strong leadership when it comes to finding innovative approaches to enhance the level of care for all Albertans, while ensuring our healthcare dollars are spent as effectively as possible,” said Dr. Verna Yiu, president and CEO of Alberta Health Services. 

 

This partnership is the result of a competitive request for proposal (RFP) process initiated to standardize lab equipment across all of APL’s high-volume testing sites, which will provide best-in-class technology; improve quality, consistency and reduce turnaround times for results for patients’ lab tests. It will also reduce costs when compared to running a variety of technology platforms at different sites. In today’s patient care management where diagnostics account for about 70% of clinical decision making, Roche’s large portfolio of solutions can help reduce hospitalization, enable targeted treatment strategies and improve chronic patient management.

 

“Roche’s state-of-the-art solutions are part of our vision for an improved and sustainable healthcare system that will bring value to patients, physicians and laboratories by improving medical decision-making and increasing efficiency,” said Tammy Hofer, Chief Operating Officer of Alberta Precision Laboratories. 

“Centralized processing and testing of routine lab tests will ensure that patients across Alberta will have their lab work completed on the latest technology, providing high-quality healthcare across the province regardless of where they live,” Hofer added. “As the first in Canada to standardize provincial lab equipment, we want Albertans to feel proud of their healthcare system as we hope to inspire other provinces across Canada to follow the same approach.”

 

Roche analyzers will be used to process 80% of routine lab work in Alberta. By replacing older equipment and shifting to a single solution, APL expects to help improve the efficiency of Alberta’s lab system and the response times for results to all Albertans. The APL-Roche partnership showcases that automation, digitalisation and integration can bring diagnostics beyond the lab - to hospitals, clinics and ultimately patients - which would not have been possible just a few years ago.

 

“We work towards more patient benefit, where diagnosis, care plans, treatments and outcomes are integrated and monitored seamlessly to get the right solutions to the right patient at the right time, said Andrew Plank, President and General Manager at Roche Diagnostics Canada. Roche has been a partner and leader in the delivery of diagnostic and pharmaceutical solutions globally for 125 years and here in Canada for 90 years. This partnership showcases once again Roche’s leadership, expertise and commitment to improve patient care. I would like to express our gratitude to everyone at Alberta Precision Laboratories and Alberta Health Services for their trust as we truly value our relationship, hoping that Alberta’s initiative to standardize lab practices can be replicated across Canada.” 

Alberta Precision Laboratories
Alberta Precision Laboratories staff work on newly installed Roche chemistry analyzers at Red Deer Regional Hospital. Photo credit: Evan Isbister, Alberta Health Services

 

Among the 16 regional and centralized lab sites across the province that will use Roche’s instruments, 14 sites will be using versions of the cobas® pro instrument solutions while the two remaining sites will use the cobas® 8000 modular analyzers. The cobas® pro modular analyzer series is the latest addition to Roche’s core lab solutions, making Lethbridge the first site in Canada to install it.

 

“The implementation of Roche’s cobas® pro and cobas® 8000 solutions will increase automation in routine lab testing, allowing staff to focus on more important tasks,” emphasized Andrew Plank. Standardizing lab analyzers will reduce training requirements and allow for more flexibility and efficiency for staff to be able to work at different sites without having to learn new processes and work with different instruments. The patient's blood can be tested on a cobas® pro or a cobas® 8000, meaning complete standardization of patients results at all 16 sites across the province.”

 

“Our partnership with Alberta Precision Laboratories goes beyond providing the latest technology in laboratory medicine to clinicians across the province, said Michele D'Elia, Executive Director, Medical and Scientific Affairs at Roche Diagnostics. “Building on past research collaborations with APL scientists, this renewed and expanded collaboration allows us to engage in additional work looking to generate evidence to better understand the role of key biomarkers and improve care delivery. Through this research partnership with APL, three projects in the field of cardiac biomarkers, COVID-19 and critical care medicine have already granted commitment to move forward.”

 

Roche has worked with Alberta Precision Laboratories for over 20 years supporting Alberta’s health care system when needed creating an organic synergy that builds mutual trust. With the current COVID-19 pandemic, Roche salutes the hard work of all healthcare workers across the province who are at the frontline of the battle.

 

About Alberta Precision Laboratories

Alberta Precision Laboratories (APL) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alberta Health Services (AHS) and is ready to deliver high-quality, responsive diagnostic lab services to Albertans as a part of the provincial healthcare system. APL is the largest provider of laboratory medicine and pathology services in the province of Alberta, employing more than 5,500 health professionals, support staff, as well as medical and scientific staff and contractors. For more information, visit www.albertaprecisionlabs.ca.

 

About Alberta Health Services

Alberta Health Services (AHS) is proud to be part of Canada’s first and largest province-wide, fully integrated health system, responsible for delivering health services to more than 4.4 million people living in Alberta, as well as to some residents of Saskatchewan, B.C. and the Northwest Territories. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans. AHS has more than 108,600 direct AHS employees (excluding Covenant Health and other contracted service providers) and more than 12,500 staff working in AHS’ wholly-owned subsidiaries such as Alberta Precision Laboratories, Carewest and CapitalCare Group. AHS is also supported by approximately 12,200 volunteers and more than 10,900 physicians practicing in Alberta, approximately 9,000 of whom are members of the AHS medical staff (including active, temporary and community appointments). For more information, visit www.albertahealthservices.ca.

 

About cobas® pro integrated solutions

Launched in 2019 in Canada, cobas® pro integrated solutions is a scalable and modular solution designed to achieve mid-to-high volume clinical chemistry and immunochemistry testing needs. It aims to increase efficiency with fast analytical units, intelligent sample routing, and short assay incubation times, with 93% of Roche immunoassays having reaction times of 18 minutes or less. To learn more about the cobas® pro integrated solutions, click here.

 

About Roche cobas® 8000 series

The cobas 8000 modular analyzer series is a scalable module based serum work area (SWA) solution for a wide range of in vitro diagnostics testing of clinical chemistry & immunochemistry designed for high throughput laboratories. With cobas® 8000 modular analyzer series, labs will reach a new height of performance. This means unprecedented productivity and distinctive uptime, the broadest assay menu on one consolidated platform and continuous access to breakthrough assays that allows labs to stay at the forefront of the industry. To learn more about the cobas® 8000 series, click here*.

 

About Roche

Roche is a global pioneer in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics focused on advancing science to improve people's lives. The combined strengths of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics, as well as growing capabilities in data-driven medical insights, help Roche deliver truly personalized healthcare. Roche is the world's largest biotech company, with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology, and diseases of the central nervous system. Roche is also the world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management. Roche Canada was founded in 1931 and employs more than 1,800 people across the country through its Pharmaceuticals division in Mississauga, Ontario as well as its Diagnostics and Diabetes Care divisions in Laval, Quebec.

 

For more information, please visit www.RocheCanada.com and follow us on Twitter @RocheCanada.

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* The link provided in this release to the Roche Global website is provided solely as a resource to visitors. Please refer to the disclaimer on this Roche website.

 

For more information, please contact:

 

Grady Semmens
Alberta Precision Laboratories
E: [email protected]

 

Marie-Élaine Guay
Roche Diagnostics Canada
E: [email protected]