Expert Specimen Processing (ESP)

ESP is a collection of internally developed software applications which support and work in conjunction with the automation at ARUP. These applications provide to ARUP’s automation the necessary information to ensure the stability, careful handling and on time delivery of patient specimens. ESP applications include Accessioning, which enables Specimen Processors to confirm client orders, verify stability of specimens, and determine sequential testing routes, and Specimen Tracking Inquiry, Specimen Storage, and Specimen Checkout, which provide laboratory employees the ability to store, retrieve and inquire of the status of patient specimens as they are transported throughout the laboratory.

In addition to the above listed modules, ESP is ARUP’s main linking computer system to all of the interfaced automation systems as well as the Cerner PathNet system, which is ARUP's Laboratory Information System (LIS). Interfaced systems include the MagneMotion MagneMover® LITE transport system; the sorters and binders that are part of the Automated Transport and Sorting System; a system (WRx) that operates the SK Daifuku Automated Storage and Retrieval System (AS/RS); the system the operates the ATS Automated Storage Sorter; systems that operate the Motoman AS/RS Sorter and the Motoman ATS Storage AutoSorter (SAS); and the Sort-to-Light System for sorting specimens that do not get transported on the Automated Transport and Sorting System.

As each patient order is completed in ESP Accessioning, the order is sent to PathNet, labels are printed and the tubes are placed on the Automated Transport and Sorting System. The labels have separate bar code identifiers for the accession number and a unique container tracking number. These bar codes use different symbologies, so that the bar code readers on the integrated automation systems don't mistakenly read the accession numbers and the analyzer bar code readers don't read the container tracking numbers.

The order sent to PathNet consists of a completed order, if the order is from a requisition, or a verification of the ordered tests, in the case of an electronic pre-order already in PathNet (see Accessioning Module). Individual laboratory sections can specify on a test-by-test basis whether tubes are to be aliquotted for multiple tests or routed without aliquotting, and ESP employs specific rules to follow these specifications. Often, multiple tests ordered on the same patient will be aliquotted to give faster service. However, routing is preferred in some instances. For example, for many urine tests performed by ARUP, a serum creatinine is also performed, so these specimens are routed to the required laboratory sections.

ESP is continually being upgraded with new or improved functionality and Windows-based screens for employee use. The above module descriptions may change from time to time to reflect these improvements.