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Grossing - New Initiative for a New Generation

Elma Cortinas, MS, Clinical Practice Management

Due to decrease on healthcare reimbursement and the rising cost of medical supplies and tests, this large metropolitan pediatric healthcare facility had to re-evaluate their resources and make their processes more efficient. Accordingly, the group investigated the possibility of utilizing existing histology technicians to develop an effective surgical pathology grossing program without adding additional costs or workflow burden. This facility developed and implemented a program that trained existing personnel to perform gross examinations of a variety of tissue types without compromising quality and accuracy. In determining the personnel qualifications for grossing specimens, they followed the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) guidelines for High Complexity Testing (HCT) personnel. In addition, they evaluated their resources to ensure that they had adequate staffing, physical space, equipment, and safety measures in place to implement the program. The facility designed and implemented an illustrated grossing guideline manual, dictation templates, written policies and procedures, and competency assessments. Finally, they ensured a pathologist was available to perform the didactic and practical training. This resulted in a successful implementation of an effective, quality grossing program that helped maintain consistency in the gross room. This initiative also provided professional and educational career growth opportunities for HCT personnel by adding a higher level of skilled value to their repertoire.

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Learning Objectives

  1. Overview of a new process on grossing in the histology lab.
  2. Discuss a project charter and the importance of implementing a new project.
  3. Describe tips and techniques associated with grossing non-complex specimens.

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About the presenters

Michelle Lamphere is the Senior is the Senior Histology Technologist at Children's Medical Center, Dallas, Texas and responsible for all aspects of routine histology including maintenance, quality assurance, training and procedure writing. Her education of Histology Journeyman was through the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington, D. C. Michelle began career in the Air Force and continues to achieve personal career growth through continue education forums.

Elma Cortinas, MS, Clinical Practice Management

Elma Cortinas is the Laboratory Manager for Anatomical Pathology at Children’s’ Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. Elma received her master degree from Texas Tech University in El Paso, Texas and her bachelor in Biology from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. As the manager, she is responsible for the department of Anatomic Pathology and a staff of 13. Other responsibilities include the supervision of operations, development, validations, and implementation of new clinical testing based on patient and clinician needs, while seeking out new technologies to maintain the laboratory’s status of cutting edge expertise and development.

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