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Special Stain Ordering System

How to use WPL’s stain Shopping Cart

For this example, we will be using test case SLC21-01108.

This case has 2 specimens: A and B. Specimen A has 2 blocks and Specimen B has 1 block as shown in the Grossing page screenshot below:

To begin the stain ordering process, access the In-Case Actions menu and select “Order Stain.”

The new ordering system works just like a shopping cart when buying online: You enter items into the cart and they remain there until you place the order. Once the order has been placed, it will be processed.

The Order Stain page has the following features:

1. Pending Orders section: This is the shopping cart where you can add and delete stains before they are processed.
2. Placed Orders section: This shows ordered stains, order numbers, and the exact date and time that the order was placed.
3. Sample: Select the proper sample from the pull down menu. It always defaults to sample A.
4. Block #: Select the proper block number as entered during the accessioning and/or grossing process.
5. Level: Select a level value. Currently, this information is not being used, as requested by PathologyWatch.
6. Panel/Test: Select the category of stain. This will limit the number of stains displayed in the Stain Name field.
7. Stain Name: Stains are displayed based on the selection made in the Panel/Test step. (Ex. If FISH is selected, only stains in that category will be available to choose from.)
8. Special Instructions: Optional – You can enter any special instructions for each separate stain. This information will be displayed in the Stain Log.
9. Add: Click the ADD button to submit your order to the shopping cart.

Placing an Order - A step by step example of ordering a Special Stain

Below is an example of what a filled out order will look like. Remember that you MUST add the stain before it will appear in your cart. If you leave the page without adding the stain to the shopping cart, all information will be lost.

Here we’ve selected specimen A, block 2, a SPEC test, and stain AFB. Our special instructions are written to “Place 2 levels on the same slide,” and our last step is to click the Add button.

Once a stain has been added, it will appear in the shopping cart and display a “Pending” status. A unique Order ID and timestamp are also added for ease of tracking. In this sample, the ordered stain has an Order ID of 67 and a date/time of “2/19/2021 12:08:47 PM.”

For a second stain, as shown below, we’ve added Sample B, block 1, an IHC test, and a CD21 stain with no special instructions.

Once we click the ADD button, the pending order will update. Order ID will be the same as our first stain, since it is all part of the same order, but the time and date for the second stain will update accordingly.

At this point, you can delete any item(s) from the pending order by clicking on the “X” to the far right of the pending order section. Otherwise, everything has been saved, and the shopping cart will retain the pending order even if you leave the page or log off.

To place the final order, you MUST click the “Submit Pending Order” button.

Your order has now been moved to the “Placed Order” section. Notice that the date and time have been updated to the time that the order was placed instead of the time that it was entered into the shopping cart.

Viewing Stain Orders - How to use the Stain Log page to view all Placed and Pending Special Stain Orders

All Pending and Placed Orders can be viewed on the Stain Log page. Once there, select the “Ordered Date From,” which also includes the time.

(Note that the defalt time will be 12:00 AM or 00:00:00 for the date selected. You can modify this time to match your search parameters.)

In the image below, only one case appears as a result of the search: Case SLC21-01108. Let’s select it and then click on the “View Selected” button.

The Special Stains Log will display all stains ordered for case SLC21-01108, regardless of whether they were ordered before the search date or not. The reason for this is to showcase any incomplete stains so that you can readily see them in this log. In this instance, both ordered stains are part of Order 67, which was placed on 02/19/21 at 12:10:52.

In detail, the log shows:
1. The exact date and time of the entered search parameters.
2. The Order ID.
3. The date and time that the order was placed. If there are previous orders for this case, they will also be shown in this log.
4. The status of the stain. There are three possible statuses: New, Completed, and Cancelled.
5. Special instructions entered when ordering the stain.

Checking the Status of Ordered Stains - New vs Completed

When the pathologist logs into the system, they will see a blue “S” beside the Accession Number if any special stains have been ordered. This icon indicates that the stain status is New.

Once the stain has been finished at the lab, you can now mark it as “Completed.” To do this, access the Special Stain Completion page from the top menu under Case Management.


Enter the search parameters for the ordered special stains. For this example, we’ve entered the date and time as 2/29/2021 at 12:00 AM, and then clicked Search. The page returned two records for order 67.

In detail, this page shows:
1. Order ID.
2. Stain Status.
3. Date ordered.
4. All Stains that were ordered.
5. The ability to mark selected cases as Completed.
6. The ability to mark selected cases as New.
7. The ability to mark selected cases as Cancelled.
You can now select any stains by clicking on the check boxes beside them and then updating them to their correct status.

NOTE: As soon as you click on one of the buttons that changes stain status, the page will reload to display the new selected status. If you mark a stain as completed in error, you can simply select the stain again and mark it as the correct status.


After changing a stain status from New to Completed, the icon beside the Accession Number will show as a purple “C.” This will quickly indicate that the Special Stains for that case have been completed.

NOTE: It is up to PathologyWatch to determine at what point a stain is marked as Completed. It can be when the actual slide is completed or as soon as the special stain slides have been scanned and uploaded to the PathologyWatch Viewer.

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