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Optimization of Staff and Equipment to Boost Throughput

The Leica Biosystems Process and Solutions Optimization team has partnered with a major academic facility within an Integrated Network to examine how to optimize staffing and equipment in their immunohistochemistry lab.

This laboratory is most interested in the impact that additional staffing as well as instrument optimization can have on increasing throughput in the face of anticipated volume increases. By performing a capacity and throughput analysis, the Leica Biosystems team can understand the lab’s process and present a solution that satisfies their goals.

Fig 1(Above) : IHC Avg Ordered vs Loaded

This team has only one tech to pull the IHC orders, cut the IHC slides, and perform the IHC staining, so they are looking to hire an additional tech. Currently, they have two BOND IIIs and one BOND-MAX that are not connected to their Laboratory Information System. Additionally, there are several cases per day that exceed 30 slides each, significantly reducing the amount of space available for the remaining cases that have been ordered. By looking at the ordering patterns above, we determined that there are times where orders are put in, but either no one can prepare them or the instruments are full, requiring they be held to the following day.


The Leica Biosystems Process and Solutions Optimization team looked at the client’s needs and options and prepared the following staffing model to aid the Lab Manager in scheduling the additional tech:

Fig 2(Above) : Early and Later Tech

By creating a “split shift” with two techs, this team can potentially:

  • Increase their capacity from 180 slides per day to 360 slides per day
  • Eliminate the need to hold cases due to space issues
  • Distribute 50% more cases to Pathologists by days end

Meeting the growing demands for volume, this team has strategically optimized staff and equipment to effectively increase throughput.

Projections and Realized Results are specific to the institution where they were obtained and may not reflect the results achievable at other institutions.

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