RE: specimen accessioning

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From:"Johnson, Mickey" <>
To:'Renee Seiler' <>,
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I thought I would put my two cents worth in on this. We use a log book (a
small spiral bound book and use both sides of the pages) and we accession
into CoPath. The number is assigned by us manually, and then we are careful
to keep everyting in order so CoPath assigns the same number(it's pretty
straight foreward). If we were to use the CoPath specimen/slide/block log(s)
for our daily reference log, instead of copies of the spiral log book, we
would go through about a ream of paper per week. The CoPath system writes
each block on a separate line. We process 3-4 hundred blocks a day. Anyway,
the log book is also an extremely useful reference for Add-ons, Autopsy
blocks, Cell Blocks, Bone Marrows, Special Stains, special instructions for
embedding, sentinel nodes, etc. We get a lot of information on 5 pages.
Computers are wonderful for accessing reports and billing information
speedily on-line, but they are notoriously inefficient when it comes to the
time it takes to input data. CoPath in particular is down right wasteful in
its use of paper for daily logs. I would have to have 10 times the space to
store the CoPath logs compared to our spiral log books we currently use. 
In our lab we have 3.5 FTE's of Lab Assistants who accession, print labels,
help set up gross, etc. My hat is off to them for their ability to get
everything into the computer systems consistently, accurately and quickly.
They have to input patients into our DOS based Meditech system (l980's
technology) first and then accession into CoPath. The Sunquest system is the
invisible (unless the interface is down) link between Meditech and CoPath.
The computer vendors always tell you that they can do anything that you
question them about, but frequently, to everyone's consternation, cannot
Well, I feel better now! Grin! :)

Best Regards,


Michael L Johnson, BS, HTL(ASCP)
Histology Supervisor
Department of Pathology
Sacred Heart Medical Center
W. 101 8th Avenue
Spokane, WA 99220

-----Original Message-----
From: Renee Seiler []
Sent: Wednesday, June 21, 2000 4:29 AM
Subject: specimen accessioning

Hello, I have been reading with interest on all the feedback about entering
specimens, and am totally flabbergasted that a) you have secretaries and
transcriptionists who WILLINGLY do this and b)those who have a computer
system STILL use logbooks--hello, let's save some trees here!  Yes, use
manual entry when the system goes down, but the whole purpose of a
computerized system is to let the computer and only the computer assign
numbers.  I have used both Sunquest and Meditech and have worked in labs
where everyone from the lab assistant to histotech to cytotech to path
assistants to pathologists will accession specimens, but NEVER the office
Renee Seiler, Rose Medical Center, Denver CO, USA

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