City of Hope

Pathology Logistics

In anticipation of moving its cytogenetics, HLA, CMDL, outreach, slide & block storage, and review off the main campus to Rivergrade and adding a new Orange County clinical facility, the City of Hope retained HERA and St. Onge to develop a comprehensive specimen logistics program to support existing and future lab operations. The program covers specimens from clinical pathology, anatomic pathology, genetics, blood products (including stem cells) and slides & blocks.

The planning team first assessed the existing lab logistic operations and space allocations at 11 Durante Campus locations and 30 community sites and documented current processes, issues and challenges. The team found that each lab section had its own specimen handling process, with no common tracking system. In addition, some specimens went through multiple touches, creating inefficiencies. Additionally, plans for future specimen processing were reviewed and strategies for integration were laid.

HERA created a roadmap for the development and implementation of a specimen logistics department, including courier options, staffing structure, operating procedures and delivery schedule. HERA gave input on best practices and prioritized safe and timely pickup and delivery of specimens. The team defined workflows, considered peak vs. non-peak collection times, and made efficiency recommendations.

City of Hope asked the team to assess software solutions to better track specimen movements and to evaluate and recommend courier options. Both options would allow City of Hope to streamline its operations and increase efficiency.

The resulting report provides financial justification for City of Hope to establish a formal specimen logistics program.


Duarte, California


11 campus locations


Existing state assessment, program framework input, and evaluation of software and courier options


St. Onge Company