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OPTIMIZING PROCESS WORKFLOW THROUGH LAYOUT REDESIGN

The Leica Biosystems Content and Evidence team has partnered with a private, non-profit, integrated health system to optimize their new laboratory layout to ensure efficient process flow. The laboratory is most interested in ensuring their new laboratory space is structured to best handle the initial volume while allowing for increased growth over the coming years. The new histology laboratory will include routine, special, and immunohistochemistry staining.

The Leica Biosystems Content and Evidence team was provided an initial architect drawing with planned equipment placement. The team conducted interviews with lab directors, and staff to obtain all necessary input on process requirements. The Leica Biosystems Content and Evidence team mapped the process flow and redesigned the layout to rearrange the placement of process steps and equipment. Below is the initial layout provided to the team and the recommended layout after adjustments.

Fig 1. Initial architect drawing from customer with mapped process flow
Fig 2. Recommended laboratory layout with mapped process flow

The new laboratory space included space for:

  • Separate room for 4 tissue processors and waste storage
  • 3 Embedding stations with room for 6 total stations
  • 8 Microtomy stations with room for 12 total stations
  • Dedicated island for routine staining
  • Dedicated island for special staining including hood for hand stains
  • Large area for Immunohistochemistry preparations and staining
  • Large workspace for Case Assembly and distribution of slides
  • Wall space for storage of blocks and slides

The estimated travel distance for the specimen of the initial drawing was 143.2 feet and included two crossover process steps. The recommended layout eliminated all crossover process steps and had an estimated travel distance for the specimen of only 79.9 feet. That is a 44.2% reduction in wasted travel distance. The Leica Biosystems Content and Evidence team was able to visually demonstrate the improvements using a spaghetti mapping process which resulted in the necessary gains.

Instruments used in this case study

HistoCore PELORIS 3 Premium Tissue Processing System
HistoCore AUTOCUT
Automated Rotary Microtome
BOND-III Fully Automated IHC and ISH Stainer
HistoCore Arcadia H
Heated Paraffin Embedding Station

This reference document is presented as a service to health care professionals by Leica Biosystems and has been compiled from available literature. Although every effort has been made to report faithfully the information, Leica Biosystems cannot be held responsible for the correctness. This document is not intended to be, and should not be construed as medical advice. For any use, the product information guides, inserts and operation manuals of the various drugs and devices should be consulted. Leica Biosystems and the editors disclaim any liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of drugs, devices, techniques or procedures described in this reference document.