Specialized BioPharma accessioning team collaborates for quality assurance

At Mayo Clinic, quality is not an act, it’s a habit. This commitment extends into BioPharma Diagnostics, where a team of four quality assurance assistants and three lab processing assistants has recently come together as the BioPharma Accessioning Pod. Their focus includes accommodating the unique requirements of BioPharma clinical trials and research samples during accessioning and sharing data and findings with the BioPharma Diagnostics team. Since its start in late 2022, the pod has seen great progress in its ability to improve accessioning and troubleshooting of BioPharma sample work.

Andrew Dalbello, specimen operations supervisor for the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at Mayo Clinic, shares the importance of the pod’s work and what a typical day looks like for this dynamic team.

“The pod is important and has really shown its value in the team’s ability to improve quality for the BioPharma samples coming in and to collect data given back to the BioPharma Diagnostics team,” Dalbello says. “This data is then communicated back to clients to help long-term, sustainable quality improvements. We are working to create standardized processes for this BioPharma work.”

For the BioPharma Accessioning Pod team of seven, a typical workday begins with a review of queries from the prior day to ensure timely arrival of samples to the testing labs. Then, they receive new BioPharma shipments from the Specimen Operations dock team. All packages are opened by hand, and then samples and paperwork are matched and carefully placed in bags to be stabilized.

The team then begins accessioning the samples, which may require manual entry into the laboratory information system. A second team member will verify the manual order to confirm the data entry has the correct demographic and testing information. Next, the samples are sent to the Specimen Distribution team to be routed to the correct testing lab. Some samples might first be routed to the Specimen Operations Liquid Handling team if a pour-off or aliquot is required. Additionally, the team enters digital tickets to query for information needed to resolve issues or questions that arise during accessioning. Some tickets may require the pod to verify subject demographic information or alert them about sample stability.

In addition to the pod, an assistant supervisor and two quality specialists help the team by sharing information with the BioPharma team. They also assist with technical and quality questions to allow the pod team to focus on accessioning and troubleshooting.

Through dedicated teams like the BioPharma Accessioning Pod, BioPharma Diagnostics can deliver Mayo Clinic expertise and quality to each research project and offer a wide range of laboratory testing to support industry clients.

Nicole Holman

Nicole Holman joined Mayo Clinic Laboratories in 2023. She currently serves as communications writer on the marketing team. Nicole enjoys feature writing and storytelling focused on employees, patients, and company culture.