[Histonet] Cost to produce an H&E slide

WILLIAM DESALVO wdesalvo.cac <@t> hotmail.com
Wed Sep 2 14:23:45 CDT 2009

Over the years I have not found any published cost calculations that have addressed individual categories that fluctuate constantly in the department and it seems that there are as many models as there are institutions/companies. In the past I have found if I separate costs into a minimum of 4 categories, I can provide a reasonable calculation for the technical component successfully. Full calculation will require that you have a cost for all shared tasks in the department that contribute to the production of the slide (i.e. accessioning, grossing, embedding, cutting) and be able to allocate a portion of that technical cost to the final slide. I have also been asked to add to the calculation to account for items such as Training/Education for staff, taxes/shipping cost and professional fees. I suggest you communicate with Finance to see what detail is required and to capture all costs for your department. I hope this gets you started.


Cost Analysis for H&E:
Staining Materials + Labor + Instrumentation + Company Cost Allocation
Materials - Reagents, Stains, Slides, Cover slips
Each item will need to be calculated to number of units (slides) per ordered unit (i.e. gallon, quart, pint, milliliters). Can take total monthly cost of all staining material and divide by total slides stained per month.
Example: Hematoxylin = 1500 slides stained per 620 ml (specific to slide staining instrument) or 2.42 slides / mL; Hematoxylin is ordered by the pint or 473 mL; Cost per pint = $29.80 or $0.063/mL; Cost per slide = .063 mL / 2.42 slides or $0.026 per slide. This is only for the Hematoxylin
Labor – Average salary and benefits for all employees that will perform task. Average labor cost will be divided by time spent to perform task.
Example: Average hourly labor cost = $24.00; time spent to perform staining task = 4 hours; number of slides stained in 4 hours = 480 slides; Cost per slide = 24 x 4 / 480 = $0.20 per slide
Instrumentation – Cost to purchase plus the cost of repairs and/or maintenance contract or lease/rental cost per year and then the allocation per your institution amortization schedule. Divide by total number of slides stained per year
Example: Cost of instrument = $60,000; Amortized over 7 years = 60,000 / 7 = $8572; Cost of service contract per year = $3,000; Total number of slides stained = 100,000; Cost per slide = 8572 + 3,000 / 100,000 = $0.12 per slide. All instruments used in the process will need to be added to the cost calculation (i.e. cover slip instrument).
Company Cost Allocation - This could be a variety of additional cost allocated to your department. Air conditioning, lease rental for building, lights, etc.  Acquire monthly or year total from Finance.
Eample: Allocated casts assigned= $12,000; 100,00 slides per year; Cost per slide = 12000 / 100000 = $0.012 per slide

William DeSalvo, B.S., HTL(ASCP)
> Date: Wed, 2 Sep 2009 11:11:50 -0500
> From: AJohnson <@t> aipathology.com
> To: histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
> Subject: [Histonet] Cost to produce an H&E slide
> Hello Histonet.....Has anyone ever figured out how much it costs to
> produce an H&E slide? Are there any articles out there that would help
> to figure this out?
> I realize it may be different for each institution but a ball park
> figure would be greatly appreciated.
> Thanks 
> Amylin Johnson
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