After knowing all the potential benefits for using barcode technology in the histology laboratory, you may wonder why barcodes haven't become more commonplace. Some of the factors listed below may help to explain why barcodes may have been slower to adopt in histology than in the clinical laboratory:
- Task complexity - Histology is historically a manually intensive process with many sub-processes.
- Expense - New technology acquisition, implementation, and training expenses can be prohibitive.
- Tradition - The perception of the role of the histologist, and "this is the way we have always done it."
- Lack of standardization - The amount of variation within the field made it difficult to design technology solutions. It is important to note that without process re-design, process inconsistency is only partially corrected with just the insertion of technology.
- Lack of trained personnel - It is hard to find the time to train and implement process changes, when laboratories often struggle to simply find enough staff to keep up with the demands of the daily workload.
Yet despite some of these barriers, it is very likely that barcode technology utilization will continue to increase, along with other forms of automation and technology within histology.