[Histonet] Re: Turnaround time for Research Pathology

Johnson, Teri TJJ <@t> stowers.org
Fri Aug 6 10:14:55 CDT 2010


You asked about standard turnaround times for histology services in the Research environment. As you eluded to in your second paragraph, rarely do we have standard projects. Often we're asked to do serial sectioning of an entire organism and we have no idea how many slides we'll end up with, or how long it'll take is to do each one. Someone can submit one sample, or 30 samples. Paraffin processing and 1 H&E can be turned over fairly quickly depending on the existing work queue. With some exceptions we take things as first in, first out.

Here's what I have on my intranet page:
Turn-around Time:
It is our goal to supply completed work to the researcher within 3 to 7 working days from submission. Fixation, decalcification, special handling, or other procedural steps may delay completion. Any special turn-around needs should be communicated to the histology staff and we will do our best to meet them.

There are times we can receive a sample, process it over night, section and stain it the next day and have it completed in 24 hours. The researchers are always delighted and surprised when we can do this. It's more usual that we can turn around fairly routine and fairly simple requests within 3 working days. If we have a long work queue, we try to let the researcher know there might be a delay in getting their samples back as soon as they submit the sample regardless of what the services are.

We always will move things up the queue when it's needed for publication submission reviews or other special circumstances. Communication is critical. Give them a reasonable timeline (you may have to determine this yourself based on usual workload and staffing). Give them timely information when there are circumstances which interfere with achieving that timeline, and update it when you need to. Finally, work together when exceptions need to be made.

It's worked out well for us so far. Good luck!

Teri Johnson, HT(ASCP)QIHC
Managing Director, Histology Facility
Stowers Institute for Medical Research
Kansas City, MO

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