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A ‘historic’ automation project in Texas fueled by collaboration

Two teams of Quest colleagues recently completed our next major automation project that even our external partner shared was “historic.”

Flipping the Switch: In September, teams from the Southwest and Esoteric Regions celebrated the completion of the consolidation of Microbiology testing at our Irving and med fusion Lewisville Microbiology labs in the Dallas-Fort Worth area into a brand-new Microbiology lab in Lewisville, Texas.

Another step forward for Automation: The new microbiology lab featured the implementation of the Copan WASPLab end-to-end culture automation as part of the continued partnership between the two Texas labs. It’s part of a larger automation project across the enterprise for the full lab featuring automated Copan equipment like what is used in our Lenexa, KS, Clifton, NJ, and Marlborough, MA labs.

The implementation of high-capacity automation in three automated microbiology lines will allow us to improve quality, laboratory management, the SOPs and safety our Microbiologists, and capacity.

What Quest leaders and colleagues are saying about the successful project:

  • “This is a success story of two teams (The Southwest Region in Irving and Esoteric in Lewisville) coming together with a common goal, staying together throughout the journey and finally achieving it with the support of countless many. With the introduction of automation, the future is truly exciting,” said Katie Bishar, Vice President/General Manager, Esoteric Operations
  • "Microbiology has always been a manual process, I never dreamed it could be automated. The process is great for consistent streaking patterns and slide preparation. The techs can review multiple cultures at the push of a button," said, Gayle Sondecker, Laboratory Manager. "The images are beautiful and allow us to keep a history of the cultures."
  • "Congratulations to teams who were involved in bringing the long intensive Project Cypress to a finale," said Lily Lucio, VP Laboratory Operations, Southwest Region. "The integration of the Irving Lab Microbiology department combines synergies with our colleagues at the med fusion, Lewisville Microbiology lab."
  • "This new technology is a game-changer that will allow us to focus on what really matters, and a testament to all the hard work the project team did to make this happen," said Ivonne Rodriguez, QMS Project Manager, Esoteric Project Management.

And what our external partner at COPAN had to say:

  • “I want to personally thank everyone on the Quest and COPAN side who contributed to the success of this historic project,” said Silvio Lignarolo, VP Strategic Accounts, COPAN. “It has not been an easy journey. This was arguably the most complex Micro automation project to date, and we could not have been where we are today without the tremendous collaboration, hard work, and dedication displayed since day one.”

The Quest teams involved in the planning and implantation of this large project included:

This project was a collaborative effort between Esoteric Operations, Southwest Region Operations, National Lab Operations, IT (Infrastructure, Lab Automation & Lab Services Management, and Software Engineering & Design), Procurement, Finance, Human Resources, the Core Infectious Diseases Franchise, and Marketing.