Introducing the Hydra system and a new workflow at CVUHB from October 2022 to January 2023 resulted in a reduction in time associated with reconciling lost or misplaced samples in the lab workflow from as long as three days to as short as a couple of hours (nearly an 82% reduction).
Misplaced samples were recognized and corrected within 2.5 hours as a consequence of the new Hydra system, accompanying workflow, and tracking database.
96 potential manual touchpoints were eliminated in the preprocessing workflow.
Time associated with scanning cassettes and baskets was reduced by 91% creating a more efficient laboratory, reducing stress, and improving turnaround times.
The Hydra system and software also allowed for
identifying potential issues related to sample quality stemming from the tissue processor. By tracking these issues back to an individual processor and schedule, other potential samples affected may be identified before issues occur. This reduces the lab’s cost of poor quality (COPQ) and also reduces the risk associated with compromised tissue and the need for potential rebiopsy.
Shortly after full implementation of Hydra into their workflow, the lab staff experienced three events where the Hydra system data and new workflow demonstrated value.
Missing cassette at preprocessing: A missing slide on a large case was reported. In searching the archived lab video footage of when the cassette should have been processed, the lab staff was still unable to locate the missing cassette.
However, when the Hydra power user accessed the Hydra system data, she realized that the cassette had never been through the Hydra system. This immediately narrowed the search area for the missing cassette to preprocessing. As a result, the missing cassette was quickly recovered and
expedited through the diagnostic process.
Missing cassette at post-processing: A block that was scanned on Hydra was never scanned at embedding and was subsequently identified as missing. This immediately narrowed the search area for the missing cassette to post processing. The investigation revealed that when a technician was unloading a basket from a tissue processor, they dropped the basket and the missing cassette was dropped on the floor. (It was actually found under the tissue processor.)
Impact of improper processing: When a tissue sample did not survive processing, Hydra data was accessed in order to troubleshoot. The processor used to process the sample was easily identified with Hydra data. Lab staff measured the alcohol concentrations on the processor with a hydrometer, which revealed that one of the alcohols was outside of the concentration on the screen display. Hydra data also revealed that the sample was assigned a longer than necessary protocol, contributing to the loss
Each of these investigations took the lab staff 15 – 20 minutes, whereas they would have been 3-4 hour efforts without the Hydra system and data. These investigations led to valuable insights in how to improve lab processes further.
Patient safety is very important … we are constantly going back to our blocks … being able to locate them in a timely manner and track them is the most important thing.
To better achieve their goal of providing accurate patient diagnoses in a timely manner and reduce the frustration and inefficiency of their manual archiving system, TJUH lab supervisor, Sue Paturzo, decided to implement the Arcos™ Tissue Block Management System by Epredia™. Since implementing Arcos, the TJUH team has saved approximately 2,132 hours annually, resulting in a cost savings of $51,168.
Since 2017 we are using digital archiving technology from Dreampath for our blocks and in 2019 for slides. The key improvements with FINA and CRYSTAL have been: – We have eliminated the errors – Optimized the space – Maximal security for the samples – Optimized the time of our technicians – Significantly reduced the stress of our personnel related to the management of samples In 2019 we implemented fully Digital Pathology in 100% of our activity with Philipps. CRYSTAL helped massively in this process as we have increased the traceability of the slides. When we need to scan or re-scan slides we know exactly where they are and we accelerate the whole slide scanning process. It’s a perfect and necessary complement for Digital pathology. We are proud to be one of the first 100% fully digitalized labs in the World
Since launching the ARCOS block archiving system, the team have all noticed the improvements to the block traceability, workflow and benefits of the time savings. In further advancement in technology, their plan is that staff released by this investment will be used towards the plan of progressing to digital pathology. They have also recognized that research is able to benefit from being able to access required blocks far more quickly and with more traceability. Pathologists, Research Scientists, Clinicians and importantly patients have a shared interest in this optimized traceability of paraffin blocks in order to enable complete and timely diagnosis – helped by the ARCOS archiving system
“…we have witnessed a profound revolution to our laboratory.” This automatic and traceable system has not only secured the precious and large amount of blocks and slides in our lab, but also alleviated our workload of archiving by approximately 70%, which liberates us from the repetitive tasks we were used to and frees up more time for our individual and organizational development. Meanwhile, the system is quite user friendly and easy to learn for our technicians. We all like it!”