FW: [Histonet] Ventana Benchmark

Jasper, Thomas G. TJasper <@t> smdc.org
Thu Jun 1 12:54:21 CDT 2006

-----Original Message-----
From: Jasper, Thomas G. 
Sent: Thursday, June 01, 2006 11:47 AM
To: 'Sanders, Julie, VHACIN'
Cc: 'histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu'
Subject: RE: [Histonet] Ventana Benchmark

Hello all,

I've been following this thread with some interest and must say there are good points all around.  It just goes to show that life is not black and white, a lot of grey areas here.
I'm certain we all agree we wish things weren't so costly.  I guess what I try and do is look at "real cost" that is, for us (clinical) within our scope of service.  Someone made a very good point about research vs. clinical and the time constraints etc.  I certainly agree that the research world (diverse as it is) for the most part can probably afford(real cost now)to spend time that clinical services don't have.  I have worked in both worlds.
Our service has done the...Ventana - Dako - Dako/Ventana - Ventana dance with automated IHC which I suppose validates another point someone made about customer loyalty etc.  We currently run 3 Ventana Benchmark XTs and 2 NexES.  Do I think the costs are high?  Sure.  Again what is it worth to you?  I'm not for gouging patients with lab testing bills, but seriously, at least in the good ol' USA, you can look at many other factors which have led to skyrocketing health care costs.  Number one on my HIT PARADE are the insurance companies.  Don't be fooled folks, these organizations are the bane of health care.  My wife worked for many years as a patient account rep in a clinical setting.  Reimbursement is an unbelievably convoluted game.  And like most high stakes games, the House has the odds in their favor.  But, I digress. 
What we are looking for is consistency, speed, reproducibility and reliability.  I also like to believe that part of the cost to my institution goes to well educated people working in technical support roles etc.  Good technical support is extremely valuable.  I am very much in favor of having well educated staff that understand the science behind the technology.  We do everything within our power to maintain that here.  Again, I realize this may not be something everyone, everywhere can do.
So for those of you reading this...what's my point?  Well, I'm willing to pay what I have to, to run Ventana...at least right now.  And don't get me wrong I think Dako is a good company, new computer system and all.  Both have had their ups and downs.  Also, to the person whose boss is asking all the time about why the high costs and how to reduce them.  I would suggest looking outside of Histology.  Comparitively speaking within Laboratory Services, Histology equipment, reagents, staff, etc. are not overly costly.  I sit in meetings and listen to what other departments need to budget for things and my jaw just drops.  And to add even more perspective, I had this fact pointed out to me last month during National Laboratory Week...4 cents out of every US healthcare dollar spent goes to lab services, over 80% of patient care decisions made are based on lab testing.  That's a helluva deal!  Makes Histology spending seem pretty tame doesn't it.  So do what you gotta do as cost effectively as possible.  One size does not fit all.
Thanks for the soapbox!

Thomas Jasper HT (ASCP) BAS

-----Original Message-----
From: histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
[mailto:histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu]On Behalf Of Sanders,
Sent: Tuesday, May 30, 2006 6:07 AM
To: histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
Subject: [Histonet] Ventana Benchmark

I agree with Joe, the cost of running the Ventana is high.  My chief is always trying to figure out a way for us to not do immunos in house just because of this.  With that said, our Ventana sales rep has given us the best prices possible for the volume we run, which is not that high compared to large hospitals/labs.  I wish there were some way to keep the cost down for running this particular machine (we have a Benchmark XT), but there isn't and costs can only go up, as they do every year.
However, we like Ventana, the technology, tech support, and sales support.  Our pathologists would walk if we ever stopped using it as it has provided them with the best, most reliable technology we have found on the market.

"How come every one talks about the reliability and walk away technology, but 
no one ever talks about the price of running these machines? Shouldn't cost 
be a factor also?
I've been in budget meetings all week. The only thing I heard was how 
expensive it is to run immunos." 

Julie Sanders, BA, HT(ASCP)
Supervisor, Anatomic Pathology
Cincinnati VAMC

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