[Histonet] re-lean

Janice Mahoney jmahoney <@t> alegent.org
Fri Mar 16 16:28:48 CDT 2007

Those of us who know LEAN know that the FS process described below is not actually LEAN because we would have reduced the walk time and the need to rush the specimen over from the OR.

As it hapened with Janice I can't keep quiet either.
Lets talk about LEAN.
To start with it is not applicable to the entire histology workflow.
The specimen arrives and somebody takes "hold" of it, number, access, describe AND??? that person will have to process it (unless it is a Frozen section). There has to be a delay and don't tell about the Xpress Sakura, it will have to wait until 30 or 40 cassettes will be ready before starting (and what do you call that if you don't want to call it a "batch"?)
It will come out after 120 minutes (or more time if it is a regular processor) and again another person will take the cassette in a "nurturing and loving embrace" and will prepare the slide, embed the tissue, section it, WAIT until it dries and will stain it. How long will it take to that "dedicated" histotech to have the slide ready for the pathologist and, most important, how much did that slide cost? What happened to the other cases? Is it a "one specimen a day"lab?
Trying to see the histology lab as the production line of a Toyota is unrealistic. Some aspects can be streamlined, others not.
The only process that is LEAN (and has always been without knowing it by the way) is the one performed by the histotech rushing over the piece of tissue received from the OR to do a FS, and even there I have seen some mislabellings (like some labs that do not access the tissue to do the FS).
Embracing new approaches require a deep study and knowing what we are getting into.
Just my opinion (as always)!
René J.

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