What are the throughput capabilities of the analyzer/ system? Will it be high enough to allow the laboratory to meet its expected turnaround times? Is there a STAT mode for urgent samples?
A more expensive analyzer may prove to be more cost effective in the long term if, for example, the reagents are cheaper and the turnaround times are faster.
Consider the tests required e.g. a small cardiac clinic will require a very different set of tests to a large, multi-disciplinary, clinical laboratory.
Most of the latest generation of high-throughput chemistry analyzers are fully automated, or have the ability to be fully automated. A small laboratory might be best suited to a small, stand-alone benchtop analyzer.
It is always wise to consider how the laboratory may expand over the coming years. What are the projections for sample numbers over the life of the analyzer? Which additional tests will the laboratory be offering in a few years time? Are there plans for future automation or development of a multi-disciplinary laboratory? It may be worth investing in an analyzer or system that already has the capabilities that you may require in the future.
The purchase of a new analyzer is often a good time to assess LEAN methodologies. LEAN principles can help to guide the choice of equipment and determine whether processes really would be optimized by total automation, or whether a re-working of existing procedures would suffice.