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Increasing Staining Capacity Through Optimizing Use of Instrumentation

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.

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Slide-volume
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
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50-increase
Fig 2: Increased IHC Capacity 50% from 120 to 180 slides daily

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