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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Redesign of workflow and new technology can be disruptive to the traditional histology laboratory's status quo. Simply automating existing faulty processes will not yield the greatest rewards from automation. Deciding to automate must be viewed as an opportunity to renew and re-engineer the workflow, seeking to streamline or eliminate error prone and inefficient process steps. Thus, the decision to automate should be preceded by a complete and comprehensive review of procedures, process steps, and error sources. The result of this initial effort can lead to dramatic improvements in efficiency and patient safety. Cost containment is also possible with well-designed automation system, allowing the same number of people to accurately handle larger work volumes with less stress. Information and data management are key considerations within the modern automated laboratory. Careful consideration should be given to the acquisition of the laboratory information system (LIS) and any automated instrumentation, to achieve the best fit with the laboratories services now and in the foreseeable future. Automation and technology solutions are here today and will continue to change the way work is performed in histology laboratories everywhere.