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Optimizing Efficiency Through Automation in H&E Staining

The Leica Biosystems Process and Solutions Optimization team has partnered with Wisconsin Diagnostics to evaluate and optimize efficiency through automation. For this study, the HistoCore SPECTRA ST H&E staining system was utilized with two different platforms. The HistoCore SPECTRA ST Stainer, with detached Leica CV5030 Coverslipper, was compared with the HistoCore SPECTRA CV coverslipper, offering attached and automated coverslipping.

Wisconsin Diagnostics is most interested in reducing overall time, technologist hands-on time and touches, and increasing instrument throughput via automation. By observing the current manual transfer processes of the HistoCore SPECTRA ST with the CV5030, and comparing it to the attached HistoCore SPECTRA CV, the Leica Biosystems team can understand the lab’s process and report the outcome of the two methods.

Wisconsin Diagnostics has two HistoCore SPECTRA ST H&E stainers with detached Leica Biosystems CV5030 coverslippers in operation. The work process routine for these two independent pieces of equipment is to load the HistoCore SPECTRA ST, manually offload the slides onto the CV5030 when staining is completed, and offload finished slides again for case assembly when the cover slipping is complete. This process is comprised of 4 manual touchpoints per slide run, which occupies valuable technologist time, decreases throughput and slows overall production. In contrast, the autoloading capability of the HistoCore SPECTRA ST H&E stainer with the attached HistoCore SPECTRA CV condenses the coverslipping into a 2-touch process, effectively increasing overall production and significantly decreasing both mean hands on-time and number of touches per run.

By completing pre- and post-automation time benchmarks, we could determine significant lean laboratory savings of transportation, motion, wait time and talent. The Leica Biosystems Process and Solutions Optimization team looked at the client’s needs and options and generated data to substantiate the savings.

Optimizing Efficiency Through Automation in H&E Staining

By using the attached automated HistoCore SPECTRA CV, Wisconsin Diagnostics realized the following:

  • 85.2% decrease in mean number of touches per run
  • 14.5% mean decrease in hands-on time per run

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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