TIFTON, GA (WALB) - Tift Regional Medical Center got new diagnostic technology which will allow for quicker treatment of patients suffering from infections such as pneumonia, ear infections and strep throat.
Doctors say this could significantly reduce the length of stay in the hospital and improve your medical care.
A culture of bacteria enters a machine and 15 minutes later, a diagnoses is delivered to a patient.
This new technology is changing the way Tift Regional Medical Center can detect an infection.
"It's the use of a laser to basically blast these targets and it's like vaporizing the spots," said John Ansley, Clinical Operations Director.
To diagnose a bacterial infection, a culture is needed.
It traditionally requires growth in the lab for 24 hours.
The identification of pathogens takes another 24 to 48 hours.
With the new MALDI Biotyper system, the diagnosis time is cut in half.
"This will allow doctors to target therapy faster and decelerate or accelerate treatment as needed," said Ansley.
Lab technicians have gotten it down to a science in training. the identification of pathogens now takes 15 or 20 minutes.
"It goes up into a vacuum tube where it's detected and compared to a database or a library of different bugs," said Ansley.
Reducing the length of stay in the hospital means a quicker return to normal and lessens the cost for the patient, the hospital and health insurance providers.
"Think of anyone who might come in with a bacterial infection. Whether it's a urinary tract infection or some type of wound infection. If your physician is able to choose the right antibiotic quicker then it leads to a quicker healing time for you," said Ansley.