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The Past, Present, and Future of Laboratory Automation

Continual Improvement Webinar

Originally presented: September 14, 2022
Expiration date: September 14, 2024

Video length: 57:00


Automating laboratory workflows improves the overall efficiency of testing by speeding up tasks, minimizing waste, reducing reagent usage, and facilitating higher throughput. Optimizing operational efficiency through automation leads to lower running costs, the elimination of errors inherent in manual processes, a reduction in repetitive motion injuries, and improved accuracy and reliability of data.

Laboratory workflows can be classified into three categories: manual, stand-alone automation (i.e., modular), and total lab automation (TLA). Size, complexity, and testing volumes are key factors in determining the best approach to automating a lab, and a properly designed business case outlining the long-term cost savings and growth capacity is critical to ensure sustained value.


Tad Holtegaard

Senior Systems Engineer
Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology 
Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota

Learning objectives

Upon completion of this activity, participants should be able to:

  • List the reasons automation can add value to a laboratory.
  • Describe the three categories of laboratory automation.
  • Define the key components to a properly designed business case to show return on investment (ROI).
  • Propose a list of key performance indicators (KPIs) that can be used to monitor and maintain the effectiveness of an automated process.

Intended audience

This webinar is appropriate for laboratory administrators and managers, quality assurance and control staff, supervisors, and other laboratory personnel who are dedicated to continuous quality and process improvement.


The following types of credit are offered for this event:


Mayo Clinic Laboratories is approved as a provider of continuing education programs in the Clinical Laboratory Sciences by the ASCLS P.A.C.E.® program. This program has been approved for a maximum of 1.0 P.A.C.E.® contact hour.

State of Florida

Mayo Clinic Laboratories is approved as a Continuing Education Accrediting Agency for the Clinical Laboratory Sciences for the State of Florida. Florida Board of Clinical Laboratory Personnel has designated this program for general credit. This program has been approved for 1.0 contact hour.

To obtain credit

1. Watch the video.

2. Complete the posttest and evaluation that launches immediately following the video.

3. Generate and print your certificate(s).

Level of instruction for this program is intermediate.

Faculty disclosure

Course director(s), planning committee, faculty, and all others who are in a position to control the content of this educational activity are required to disclose all relevant financial relationships with any commercial interest related to the subject matter of the educational activity. Safeguards against commercial bias have been put in place. Faculty members also will disclose any off-label and/or investigational use of pharmaceuticals or instruments discussed in their presentations. Disclosure of this information will be published in course materials so those participants in the activity may formulate their own judgments regarding the presentations.


Contact us:

MCL Education

This post was developed by our Education and Technical Publications Team.