Lab safety is automatic at Greiner Bio-One

Aug. 1, 2010
The human factor still plays a critical role even in this age of rapidly evolving new technologies.
H'el`ene Restrepo


Global Product Manager, Preanalytics
Greiner Bio-One GmbH
Kremsmuenster, Austria


Masters of International Management (MIM)
American Graduate School
of International Management (Thunderbird)
Glendale, AZ


Enjoys travel,
sports, and
family fun.

Safety first. Greiner Bio-One is a privately owned company with 1,400 employees worldwide. The company entered the clinical diagnostics market in the late 1980s with the first plastic evacuated blood collection tube on the European market. Over the past two decades, Greiner has introduced a multitude of products ranging from our unique off-center luer holder (Holdex) in 1995, to double-wall tube technology for coagulation testing in 1996, to our MiniCollect closed capillary collection system in 2001, then the first evacuated screw-cap sample-collection tubes in 2005, saliva collection system in 2006, safety blood-collection device with flashback window in 2008, as well as a lab-on-a-chip portfolio over the past few years. Greiner's focus on the development of innovative products will continue based on the trends we see in clinical diagnostics including patient-safety issues, increased pricing pressures, shortages of trained healthcare professionals, alternative models of care leading to an increase in POCTs, and continued development of DNA-based tests. Our new PREMIUM Safety Needle System product portfolio will be launched soon — bringing an automatic safety approach to blood collection.

Worldwide needs vary. Greiner sells products in more than 100 different countries. We offer a wide range of products to meet the varying needs of countries and their corresponding healthcare regulations. We have production facilities and subsidiaries located in key markets and a strong global distribution network that enables us to better understand and fulfill the differing market demands.

Turnaround time. In the more developed countries of the world, TAT is becoming increasingly an issue as cost containment becomes more important. Labs consider all possible ways to decrease TAT so patient results are delivered faster. In countries where healthcare is not as accessible due to limited government budgets, TAT becomes less of a priority. Greiner is working with several key customer sites on reducing TAT while increasing safety and quality within the preanalytical phase.

The human factor. On a global scale, the greatest challenges are continuously changing regulatory requirements, available resources, price pressures, and healthcare-professional shortages. Large private groups are buying out laboratories and consolidating the marketplace, putting pricing pressure on laboratories. Changes in reimbursement schedules and cost-containment needs are requiring laboratory management in hospitals to become more involved in the selection of available tests. The shortage of trained professionals also means that constant training is necessary to ensure efficient workflow and that proper quality samples can be tested. Incorrect handling of samples can lead to poor results, causing wrong diagnoses and incorrect treatment of patients. Automation has begun to make inroads into the preanalytical phase, but there is still a large part of that phase that has not been automated despite healthcare professional shortages. The human factor still plays a critical role even in this age of rapidly evolving technologies.

Teaching techniques. We provide free continuing-education programs in the clinical laboratory sciences approved by the ASCLS P.A.C.E. program. We offer training on general phlebotomy techniques and preanalytical variables. The company cooperates closely with schools and universities on innovation projects and clinical studies. In Austria, we offer a program for the development of the engineers of the future. In addition, we work closely with phlebotomy and nursing training programs as well as with the University of Applied Sciences in Upper Austria.