Detroit’s Henry Ford Health System Partners With California Company to Increase Automation in Laboratories


Detroit’s Henry Ford Health System (HFHS) Wednesday announced a research and development partnership with California’s Sakura Finetek USA to increase the automation level of its core anatomic pathology laboratories. Increased automation is expected to boost the quality of results, reduce turnaround time, minimize errors, and lessen the need for human intervention.

“Henry Ford Pathology and Laboratory Medicine is a worldwide leader in lean-managed laboratory enterprises because of our highly engaged and accountable workforce, and our continuous improvement culture,” says Richard Zarbo, chairman of Henry Ford Health System Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. “With the patient coming first in our daily work, generating the right result in the shortest amount of time requires highly trained personnel supported by reliable and fast laboratory systems that reduce errors to the minimum achievable.”

Zarbo says this is especially true for cancer patients and oncologists. The clinical demands of oncologists require a comprehensive diagnosis from the pathology laboratory, while a reduction in patient wait time is key.

“Increasing the level of automation to reduce turnaround time while increasing quality has been our goal for more than a decade. Partnering with the world’s leading company in automation of anatomic pathology is a logical next step to achieve our system patient care goals,” says Zarbo.

HFHS and Sakura will develop products through this partnership based on their utility and value for continuously improving patient care. Both enterprises will evaluate new products and procedures to enhance performance efficiencies while increasing the level of standardization processes, allowing Henry Ford Hospital to provide more patients with a same-day diagnosis.

“With this partnership, both organizations will together be driving for better operational efficiencies linked to uncompromised quality through innovation,” says Takashi Tsuzuki, chairman and CEO of Sakura.

Henry Ford Pathology and Laboratory Medicine is an integrated systemwide service line serving 30 medical centers and all six of its in-patient hospitals. Henry Ford laboratories also provide clinical testing for patients from other health systems locally and nationally. The organization is one of the few ISO-15189 accredited laboratories in the country.

“We are dedicated to improving the productivity of medical professionals and scientists, allowing us to provide best-in-class patient care,” says John Waugh, vice president of Henry Ford Health System Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. “We chose to partner with Sakura Finetek USA because they have over many decades excelled in providing highly-reliable solutions and systems for anatomic pathology, demonstrating that they share our level of commitment to quality, value and innovation.”

Sakura Fintech advances cancer diagnostics by working to provide integrated solutions for anatomic pathology and patient treatment through innovation, quality, and customer care. It focuses on end-to-end automation to increase efficiency and standardize results.

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