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The Leica Biosystems Process and Solutions team has partnered with a Province-based hospital to examine how to optimize their Immunohistochemistry department. Hospital leadership is most interested in gaining efficiencies to accommodate a growing volume of Immunohistochemistry stains. The goal is to increase the department’s throughput so that they can handle the increased volume without adding additional staff.

The Process and Solution team began by spending several days observing their current workflow and processes. During the benchmark, the team realized that this facility has one tech assigned to cut IHC slides at specific times throughout the day. Another tech is assigned to manage the instrumentation and perform the IHC staining. During the observation, it was noted that due to the scheduled work hours, on most days it was not possible to perform more than 2 runs daily. Another issue observed was the need to manually enter the stain orders into the IHC instrumentation. That was another obstacle causing delays to get more than 2 runs daily.

Fig 1: Slide Volume with Current Capacity

The first suggestion was to integrate their LIS with the IHC instrumentation. The second suggestion was to create a split shift by combining responsibilities from two current positions.

By incorporating these two changes, this hospital:

  • Eliminated the chance of data entry error and hands-on tech time
  • Expanded their coverage of the IHC staining area from 8 hours to 91/2 hours daily
  • Increased their daily IHC staining capacity from 120 slides to 180 slides by performing 3 runs daily
Fig 2: Increased IHC Capacity 50% from 120 to 180 slides daily

Instruments used in this case study

BOND-III Fully Automated IHC and ISH Stainer

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