Inter-Departmental Correspondence

San Mateo Medical Center



November 29, 2004


December 14, 2004







Honorable Board of Supervisors


Nancy J. Steiger, Chief Executive Officer, San Mateo Medical Center



Resolution Waiving the Bid Process and Authorizing the Purchasing Agent to Purchase a Chemistry Analyzer from Olympus America Inc.



Adopt a Resolution:


Waiving the Bid Process



Authorizing the Purchasing Agent to purchase a chemistry analyzer from Olympus America Inc. for the Laboratory Department at San Mateo Medical Center


Vision Alignment

Commitment: Responsive, effective and collaborative government.

Goal 21: County employees understand, support and integrate the County vision and goals into their delivery of services.

This agreement contributes to this commitment and goal by providing state of the art equipment at San Mateo Medical Center Laboratory Department that meet patient care and safety standards.



The current chemistry analyzer is outdated consequently creating labor intensive procedures. For results which exceed the instrument’s reportable range, specimens must be manually diluted, programmed, calculated, then entered into the laboratory information system. High Density Lipid (HDL) testing requires measurement of specimen and reagent hand labeling a tube, vortexing and programming. SMMC’s volume of 75 HDLs per day requires the use of one full time employee.



Currently, body fluid testing is labor intensive, slow, or is being referred out. Because of these impediments, the turn around time to obtain results is greater than standards within the industry, which are currently four to eight hours for these types of testing.

The Lab Director researched equipment and possible vendors including site visits to the VA in San Francisco and Palo Alto, and Mills Peninsula. The new Chemistry Analyzer uses a direct measurement technology. A barcoded patient sample is loaded into the system and any test ordered on the sample will be run simultaneously. The new analyzer has the capability to handle different types of specimen from serum, body fluid and urine as part of the basic package.

Purchase of the Chemistry Analyzer from Olympus America is being recommended without a formal bid process because this product meets the specific needs of the Medical Center; more closely met the specifications than products from other vendors including Bayer Corporation, Beckman, and Ortho Diagnostics; was determined to be less costly to maintain; and had a much higher level of customer satisfaction. The Return on Investment (ROI) for this equipment is 1.5 years.

The SMMC Capital Equipment Committee is recommending purchase of this product. Employee and Public Services and County Counsel have both reviewed and approved this Resolution.


Fiscal Impact

The purchase price of the equipment including tax, shipping, technical support, complete installation and validation and training is $234,824.56. Funds are included in the San Mateo Medical Center FY2004-05 Adopted Budget.