Some time has passed since the learning and social marathon that is USCAP has concluded and more time will pass before I can do a full review of the commercial activities from the exhibit floor in Seattle.
That being said, one of the companies that stands out in my mind as having a strong presence and interest on the floor was Faxitron. The attendees at the meeting I was able to speak to on the exhibit floor that were reviewing the latest technologies from immunohistochemistry to digital pathology were looking for value and return on investment. Short of PD-1 and PD-L1 talks and manufacturers selling reagents and controls for the latest companion diagnostic, clearly imaging companies had a strong presence at the meeting.
Among those were Faxitron, specialists in specimen radiography. It is apparent laboratories are under increasing financial pressures and consolidation of technical services within larger and larger healthcare systems to maximize throughput and efficiencies. Surgical pathology laboratories are increasingly looking at ways to minimize cassettes, decrease turn around times and add efficiencies to their processes from specimen acquisition to sign-out.
For laboratories that process breast tissue, this remains a constant challenge in terms of appropriate tissue selection with an ideal number of tissue blocks that guide histologic interpretation without compromising thorough evaluation. Eliminating the need of re-grossing specimens while maximizing throughput, for breast specimens in particular, allows laboratories to provide timely turnaround times as a competitive advantage.
Specimen radiography with products such as PathVision allows for specimen radiography within your laboratory to identify lesional tissue, microcalcifications and minimize excess casettes, slides and pathologist assistant/pathologist time.
But does it really work?
In a recent paper published in the Annals of Diagnostic Pathology from UCLA, the investigators found in a retrospective study over more than two years, a statistically significant decrease in the mean number of blocks and turnaround time between the mastectomy specimen control group before radiography use (233 patients, 340 breasts) and Faxitron group that underwent postoperative radiography (226 patients, 338 breasts).
The authors go on to conclude that “Postoperative mastectomy specimen radiography has increased workflow efficiency and decreased histology costs and pathology report turnaround time. These findings may underestimate actual benefits and highlight the importance of quality improvement projects in anatomical pathology.”
As laboratories continue to find workflow efficiencies, adding specimen radiography may provide tangible ROI while improving quality.
Faxitron offers a no-cost/no-obligation onsite trial, enabling you to see the benefits of this technology for up to 3 weeks. If you missed seeing Faxitron at USCAP, you can also check them out at the following events for a demo of this technology for your laboratory at:
- American Society of Breast Surgeons – Dallas, TX | April 13 – 17
- Houston Society of Clinical Pathologists – Houston, TX | April 16
- A Practical Approach To Breast, Genitourinary and Pulmonary Pathology – Florence, Italy | May 18 – 20, 2016
- Digital Pathology Congress USA – Philadelphia, PA | July 14 – 15th
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