Same-day histology results in Surrey
Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics
Continuous rapid tissue processing system is set to revolutionise turnaround times and the utilisation of staff in histology
Europe's first order for the Tissue-Tek Xpress continuous rapid tissue processing system has been placed with Bayer HealthCare's Diagnostics Division in the UK by Partnership Pathology Services, the joint venture laboratory organisation serving Frimley Park Hospital and the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford.
The system will shortly be installed in the department of histology at the Royal Surrey, where staff have recognised its potential to reduce turnaround time for tissue specimens from 48 hours or more to less than one day for certain cases.
This results from the ability to load specimens continuously on to the Tissue-Tek Xpress, a facility which adds a completely new dimension to the automation of routine dehydration, clearing and impregnation processes.
"The Tissue-Tek Xpress will enable us to iron out the peaks and troughs of our workload throughout the day and achieve a faster throughput of specimens to the consultants", says Simon Dowd, operational manager in cellular pathology at the Royal Surrey.
"It will allow us to redistribute staff within the laboratory to best deal with workflow problems in the lab and reduce bottlenecks".
"We have already mentioned the new system in our recruitment ads to show people that the Guildford lab is very forward-thinking - hopefully this will encourage them to come and work here".
As it supports the continuous loading of tissue specimens, use of the Tissue-Tek Xpress will also open the way for the laboratory to introduce more flexible working patterns, since specimens will no longer need to be batched and left in traditional processing equipment overnight.
It is hoped that next year's planned acquisition of a new Tissue-Tek Autotec automated embedding system to complement the Tissue-Tek Xpress will further reduce pressures on laboratory staff, two of whom are currently engaged on embedding for up to 75% of each day.
"The Tissue-Tek Xpress is set to revolutionise turnaround times and the utilisation of staff in histology", says Bayer's senior product manager for cellular pathology, Simon Cutts.
"Instead of being a super-processor, it represents completely new technology that opens the way for a total re-design of laboratory workflow.
"This is the first step along the path to future automation of all the routine activities in histology from tissue processing right through to the preparation of slides for microscopy".
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