Re: flow cytometry

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From:Barry Rittman <>
To:histology <>
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This raises a serious question about costs of services in general.
Will this flow cytometry facility be carrying out only diagnostic studies or
research or a combination of both?
The equipment is expensive to purchase and maintain, the technician needs to be
and the supplies for calibration etc. are expensive. Are you being asked to make
the service pay for itself including technical help? If so then you will have to
institute an hourly fee based on
maintenance contract for equipment
calibration of equipment
amount of use
technical salary
This becomes a complex calculation but can be done. I do not have a current
figure but when I did some FACS about 10 years ago the cost was in order of
$45-90 per hour.
The critical point is does the use justify a full time technician and does the
charge include this individual?  Costs vary considerably from institute to
institute and you will probably not get a reasonable estimate of what you should
charge hourly until you have run the operation for a couple of years. If you are
not sure of the demand or if it is variable, then you may want to start at a
lower charge for a year to encourage greater usage and explain  that you are in
process of reorganizing and getting accurate cost estimates.
It should be borne in mind however that some services that are provided will not
be able to pay for themselves but are very convenient and decreasetime for
What I would suggest also is that once you have determined the usage, you find
out the cost and los of convenience if this would be done elsewhere. Also if
there are facilities within a reasonable distance that can or would be willing to
even perform this service.
hope this helps
Barry wrote:

> It has recently been brought to my attention that I may be acquiring the flow
> cytometry department, and while i am all excited about this prospect, I am
> also being asked to make it pay. Anyone out there who is doing basic
> lymphoma/leukemia panels and have some good business ideas, I would be
> grateful to hear from you. Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated.
> Thanks in advance.                               Dana Dittus
>                                             Histology Supervisor
>                                               Abington Memorial Hospital
>                                             fax 215-481-4481

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