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UPMC Opens Centralized Clinical Lab to Speed Diagnoses for Patients

PITTSBURGH, Oct. 24, 2013 –UPMC recently opened the new $39 million Clinical Labs Building (CLB) on its Oakland campus to provide faster and more cost-effective diagnostic testing for patients.  

Located at the site of the former Rangos Children’s Research Building on Fifth Avenue, the CLB houses 13 state-of-the-art labs, which moved from UPMC Presbyterian, UPMC Montefiore and Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC. 

UPMC clinical laboratories process about 18,000 blood and tissue samples each day. The 133,000-square-foot CLB consists of automated testing and diagnostic laboratories, including molecular diagnostics, virology/serology, microbiology, histology, special chemistry and complex analyses based on the human genome.

“We are the invisible physicians, making about 70 percent of the diagnoses at UPMC. The new lab equipment provides the ability to adapt to future advancements, enabling us to help patients with the latest technologies,” said George Michalopoulos, M.D., Ph.D., UPMC chair of pathology.

To effectively link UPMC’s hospitals and the CLB, tissue samples and other materials reach the facility through an expanded and modernized pneumatic tube system installed under the streets of Oakland.  The tube system uses vacuum and air flow pressure to send the carriers at speeds up to 17 mph, with a total interconnecting tubing network of approximately eight miles.

“The tubes are a much faster delivery mechanism than couriers.  The shorter turnaround time will be a benefit for patients, saving time, money and ultimately improving patient care,” said Stacey Armstrong, vice president of ambulatory care at UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside. “Operating efficiencies gained can be reinvested in patient care activities.”

​UPMC CLB by the numbers

  • 30 employees
  • 18,000 samples every day
  • 8 mile pneumatic tube network
  • 107 tube stations in UPMC hospitals

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