[Histonet] Long and short biopsy runs with one processor

Julia Dahl jdmd77 <@t> hotmail.com
Wed Apr 13 13:12:38 CDT 2005

Joyce -

First let me preface with my bias - I am a GI pathologist (read small biopsy 
material is what I live and breathe).

Long processor runs are great for standard surgical material - but 
absolutely overprocess small pieces of tissue, resulting in hard, 
dehydrated, difficult to cut little brittle fragments.

The best approach that I've seen and used is to examine your "bottlenecks."  
The main bottlenecks are the points at which you have lots to do in front of 
you - with limited resource to do it (i.e. you have 150 cassettes to embed 
coming off of the processor at one time and ONE embedding station.  That's a 

What time do you usually start your processor?  Say your processor starts at 
10:00 p.m. with a standard 6 hour process run.  Your pathologists or your 
PAs close the grossing stations at 6:00 p.m. and load the processor - and 
everything sits there for 4 hours (that's another bottleneck).

In this scenario - you can add a second processor run at virtually any time 
that you are staffed that allows you to turn over the processor for the 
standard run by 6:00 p.m. (when the standard next load is).

Since a small biopsy run usually takes about 2 hours on the Vitek:

0600 - Standard processor emptied - large surgical cases ONLY (about 2/3 of 
your blocks)
0600 - 1000: Embed, cut, stain and coverslip surgicals
0700 - 0800:  Previous day's and early AM courier run of small biopsies 
grossed in
0800 - 1000:   Small biopsy processor run
1000 - small biopsy processor emptied
1000 - 1230: Embed, cut, stain and coverslip biopsies.

If you wanted to do another biopsy run - to allow same day turnaround time - 
the 2nd biopsy run could be scheduled at 10:30 each day with slides coming 
out around 3:30.

I'm interested to hear other people's ideas.


>From: "Rush, Joyce" <Joyce.Rush <@t> sjmcmn.org>
>To: <Histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu>
>Subject: [Histonet] Long and short biopsy runs with one processor
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>We are a community hospital and last year processed 28,000 blocks.  We are 
>being challenged by our Laboratory Director to run a long and short, biopsy 
>run daily, M-F.  Currently we run everything together.  We have one 
>processor, a VIP5.  I'd love to hear of ways people have handled this.  
>Thanks so much!  I always get such good advice from this group!
>Joyce A. Rush, BS, MT(ASCP)
>Laboratory Manager
>St Joseph's Medical Center
>523 North Third Street
>Brainerd, MN  56401
>Office:218-828-7500   Fax:  218-828-7510
>Histonet mailing list
>Histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu

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