The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Automation and Technology in the Histology Laboratory. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Recommended Steps for Choosing an Automation System

  1. Perform a complete evaluation of the laboratory workflow and current processes.
  2. Identify bottlenecks and sources of error that could be improved through standardization and automation.
  3. Evaluate individual vendor systems and instrumentation to determine which might best meet the unique needs of the laboratory.
  4. Evaluate whether an open or closed system will provide the best solutions for efficiency, yet provide flexibility for future changes and/or growth.
  5. Involve staff in the evaluation and allow them to voice opinions on ease of use. Participation in decision-making increases ownership.
  6. Visit vendor installations at other facilities that have implemented potential selections to determine the level of satisfaction and success experienced with a particular vendor's system or instrumentation.
  7. Request instrument and system demonstrations in your own laboratory.
  8. Evaluate training and implementation support that may be provided by the vendor when making final selections.