Peace of Mind That You're Always Prepared
An Educational Series on the Value of Routine PM Service
The primary goal of preventative maintenance is to prevent the failure of equipment before it actually occurs, ensuring that the histology workflow never stops. And along the way, your health and your safety is never compromised; and you’re never unprepared for any unannounced inspection.
Part 1: Accessioning
The primary goal of preventative maintenance is to prevent the failure of your laboratory equipment before it actually occurs. While the accessioning of specimens may take place outside of your laboratory space, the equipment used is subject to the same equipment needs. This article will discuss how printers, scanners and labels can be monitored to ensure proper and consistent performance.
Part 2: Grossing
Preventative maintenance of laboratory equipment guarantees the safety of your laboratory employees. This is especially true with regard to the equipment used in the surgical grossing of specimens. This article discusses best practices for equipment in the surgical grossing room, including grossing hoods and filters.
Part 3: Tissue Processing
Tissue processors are many times referred to as the “heart” of the histology laboratory. If a tissue processor malfunctions and “goes down” you can be certain that turnaround times for that day will be lengthened. This article discusses the many aspects that may affect tissue processor operation and how preventative maintenance can help you to avoid downtime due to a malfunction.
Part 4: Embedding
Embedding tissue specimens in a paraffin block for microtomy is a critical step in the slide making process. Embedding personnel must have a complete knowledge of the tissue types that they are embedding, along with fine hand – eye coordination to get all tissue pieces oriented correctly and in the same plane for sectioning. Preventative maintenance of all embedding equipment will provide your histologists with the tools that they need for optimal embedding.
Part 5: Microtomy
One of the most delicate pieces of equipment in the histology laboratory is the microtome. The ability to be able to cut paraffin sections from 10 microns thick down to 2 microns thick is dependent not only on the skill of the microtomist, but the consistent functioning of the microtome as well. Regular preventative maintenance is an important aspect affecting the final section on the microscope slide.
Part 6: Staining
The final quality of H&E stained slides in most histology laboratories is largely dependent upon the successful use and operation of an automated stainer. While daily maintenance plays a role in determining optimal slide quality, preventative maintenance of automated slide stainers is an important aspect which can affect slide quality as well.
Part 7: Coverslipping
The majority of histology laboratories utilize automated coverslippers to apply a coverslip to the final stained microscope slide. Equipment that can perform this intricate task employs very close internal tolerances. The successful continuous and consistent operation of such equipment is dependent upon qualified service technicians to measure and calibrate these close tolerances.