[Histonet] Adopting a bar code system

Teri Johnson TJohnson <@t> gnf.org
Thu Jun 21 14:53:12 CDT 2012


This is a great overview of questions that need to be answered when considering such a system. Our current needs are fairly simple but I am also wanting to be proactive about potential future use. I appreciate your email to the list; it is useful for those of us as we negotiate this process.


-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Mihalik [mailto:mike <@t> pathview.com] 
Sent: Thursday, June 21, 2012 11:58 AM
To: Teri Johnson; histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
Subject: RE: [Histonet] Adopting a bar code system

Teri, if you don't mind, I'd like to respond from the perspective of an LIS vendor.

I would propose that you need to think about what your objectives are when implementing such a system, and then seek out those vendors who can best help you to reach those goals.

Barcoding is a fairly straight forward and simple thing to do, but it can open so many doors that it's hard to choose what doors to actually go down.

At its most simplistic representation, you're putting a barcode on the requisition, specimen, block, and slide.  By doing so you give yourself the POTENTIAL to records dates/times/userid of who handled what material at any given time.  Once you know this information, you can identify bottlenecks in your workflow and design more efficient workflows.

Your objectives come into play when you try to choose vendors to implement the system.  For instance,

1.  What times/processes are you measuring?  Is it just the steps from grossing to embedding to cutting to slide distribution?  I believe this is what most people think of when they think of a 'bar code system', and  you can find solutions from various LIS vendors and middleware products from Leica, Ventana, Lablion, and more.
2.  Do you want to track other 'waypoints' in the process?  For instance, into and out of strainers, processors, shipping, pathologist diagnosis, etc.?  
3.  Do you want to turn tracking on and off?
4.  What management and statistical reports do you want to see?  You need to keep in mind that it would be very nice to create your own reports in addition to having access to standard reports because management is always asking to look at the data from a different perspective.
5.  A key tangent of barcode tracking is the ability to log alerts/commentary/quality issues.  Does the proposed tracking system provide this capability?  How easy is it to see these notations?  Does the pathologist need to see them?
6.  For laboratories who have to process cytology specimen, does the system help you track paps, nongyns, etc.?

I could go on for quite a bit on this subject.  There are of course, the real world issues of slide labels vs printing directly on slides, barcode misreads, compatibility with instrumentations and so on.

If you'd like to talk more, please contact me offline.

Michael Mihalik
PathView Systems | cell: 214.733.7688 | 800.798.3540 | fax: 952.241.7369

-----Original Message-----
From: histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
[mailto:histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu] On Behalf Of Teri Johnson
Sent: Thursday, June 21, 2012 1:45 PM
To: histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
Subject: [Histonet] Adopting a bar code system

Hi Histonetters,

I am interested in hearing from folks who went from a manual histology system to a barcoding system. I would like to look into to adopting bar coding and want to know the pitfalls, issues, and your successes in doing so.


Teri Johnson, HT(ASCP)QIHC
GNF Histology Lab Manager
Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation

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