[Histonet] RE: IHC workload
Our IHC lab is separate from the Routine Histology lab. We do not rotate
techs into the IHC lab here. We have a Technical Specialist (HTL, QIHC)
who is responsible for the IHC lab. He works 7:30am-4pm. Then we have a
Tech (HT,) who comes in from 10:30am -7:00pm (she actually LIKES THAT
SHIFT!) So we have 2 people covering almost 12hours.
This helps when the Docs come in late in the afternoon with IHC
requests; we have coverage until long after they are gone to cut
everything that comes in. Overnight in the oven is a luxury we love
having. On occasion though, we do run slides the same day.
Lately we've been looking at the LEAN 6-sigma set up where instead of
one large batch of slides once a day, we're processing several smaller
runs to cut down on total run processing time. I'd be glad to discuss
this further in a separate email, if you're interested.
We run approx. 100-150 slides/day with a Ventana Benchmark and a Biocare
Nemesis. The Autostainer platform of the Nemesis is great for working
up research projects that require larger numbers of slides.
To finish answering your questions, the Histology lab cuts the H/E
Docs read the H/E and order IHC. We get the orders and then hunt down
the blocks (some Docs are trained to submit the blocks) and cut our own
IHC. We have a cassette holder re-alignment instrument that keeps all
of the microtomes lined up, so blocks can be cut from any microtome.
There are always cases that arise where an FNA core biopsy is submitted
and the IHC lab cuts the H/E and takes unstained slides immediately.
IHC lab does not embed.
I recommend that the person leading the IHC section have a propensity
for running these stains. It would be advantageous for this person to
have a keen interest in keeping the lab updated with new antibodies.
It kind of depends, on your Pathologists. Our lab is part of a
teaching hospital with 13 Pathologists and a dozen Pathology residents
each doing separate research projects. We are always working on a
poster or abstract for one of them. So in our IHC lab, we need a
progressive leader who is interested in working with the consistency of
change...someone who has the experience and the progressive attitude to
research new antibodies and juggle research and clinical assignments on
a very regular basis.
There are many labs that require a menu of 20-30 antibodies to be run
in a consistent routine, so in this case the IHC personnel requirements
might be a bit different.(My opinion)
Hope this helps,
Becky Orr CLA,HT(ASCP)QIHC
Assistant Manager, Anatomic Pathology
Evanston Northwestern Healthcare
Date: Thu, 6 Jul 2006 14:43:18 -0700
From: Jennifer MacDonald
Subject: [Histonet] IHC Workload
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I have a few questions for IHC labs related to workload and staffing.
1. How many slides per day?
2. Are slides processed, embedded, and cut by the IHC staff or
3. Automation or manual.
If automation what instrument?
4. Number of staff members to perform the workload?
How many histotechs? How many lab assistants?
Thanks to all who help with this.
Mt. San Antonio College
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