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Henry Ford Health System Enhances Patient Care through Laboratory Automation Partnership with Sakura Finetek USA

October 16, 2018

DETROIT, MI AND TORRANCE, CA – Henry Ford Health System Pathology and Laboratory Medicine today announced a research and development partnership with Sakura Finetek USA to increase the automation level of its core anatomic pathology laboratories, thereby increasing the quality of results while reducing turnaround time, minimizing errors and lessening 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,” said Richard Zarbo, M.D., system 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.”


This is especially true for Henry Ford Health System’s cancer patients and oncologists, Dr. Zarbo added. The clinical demands of oncologists require a comprehensive diagnosis from the pathology laboratory, while at the same time reducing the patient’s wait time as much as possible.


“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,” said Dr. Zarbo.


Like Henry Ford Health System, Sakura Finetek USA’s innovations are driven by the goal of improving patient care. This partnership will bring together two organizations that are highly-committed to this goal, making unprecedented advancements possible, Sakura Finetek USA’s chairman & CEO Takashi Tsuzuki explained.


“With this partnership, both organizations will together be driving for better operational efficiencies linked to uncompromised quality through innovation,” said Tsuzuki.

Kam Patel, president and chief operating officer of Sakura Finetek USA, expanded on that sentiment.


“It is a privilege to collaborate with Henry Ford Pathology and Laboratory Medicine under the visionary leadership of Dr. Richard Zarbo, and with his highly-committed team who has embraced lean continuous improvement processes to repeatedly reinvent themselves and reach new levels in quality, safety and patient care. They are an excellent strategic partner for us to be providing continuous innovation for pathology,” said Patel.


The innovative products Henry Ford Health System and Sakura Finetek USA will develop through this partnership have been carefully selected based on their utility and value for continuously improving patient care. Together, both enterprises will evaluate new products and procedures to further enhance performance efficiencies while increasing the level of standardization of processes, allowing Henry Ford Hospital to provide more patients a same-day diagnosis while expanding its capacity for growth.


“Sakura Finetek USA has selected Henry Ford Pathology and Laboratory Medicine to become our International Center of Excellence and Innovation in order to share technology and promote the goals to plan, evaluate and implement new technologies in a working environment,” said Dr. Erico von Bueren of Sakura Finetek USA.


Henry Ford Pathology and Laboratory Medicine is an integrated systemwide service line serving six in-patient hospitals and 30 medical centers. Henry Ford laboratories also provide clinical testing for patients from other leading health systems throughout southeastern Michigan, the Midwest, and across the United States. The organization is one of the few ISO-15189 accredited laboratories in the United States, and the only one in Michigan repeatedly recognized for achieving the highest levels of operational systems, continuous improvement, risk mitigation and quality management.


“We are dedicated to improving the productivity of medical professionals and scientists, allowing us to provide best-in-class patient care,” said 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.”


Learn more about Henry Ford Pathology and Laboratory Medicine by visiting henryford.com/pathology.




About Henry Ford Health System
Henry Ford Health System is a six-hospital system headquartered in Detroit, Michigan. It is one of the nation’s leading comprehensive, integrated health systems, recognized for clinical excellence and innovation. Henry Ford Health System provides both health insurance and health care delivery, including acute, specialty, primary and preventive care services backed by excellence in research and education.
Henry Ford Health System is led by President & CEO Wright Lassiter III. Visit henryford.com to learn more.


About Sakura Finetek USA

With its U.S. office based in Torrance, California, Sakura Finetek is the global leader in advancing cancer diagnostics by providing integrated solutions for anatomic pathology and patient treatment through best-in-class innovation, quality and customer care. With a strategic focus on end-to-end automation, Sakura Finetek continues to lead the industry in the development and commercialization of automated histopathology instrumentation and consumables for anatomic pathology. Sakura Finetek systems dramatically increase efficiency, standardize results, and enable clinical laboratories to more simply manage their daily workload while significantly impacting patient care. Visit www.sakuraus.com to learn more.



Jeff Adkins

Henry Ford Health System




Erico von Bueren

Sakura Finetek USA