RE: justifying histology FTE

From:"Morken, Tim"

Don't most pathologists contract with the hospital for their services? If
that is the case, then maybe the hospital should be billing the pathologists
for the "non-billable" work they insist on asking for. Bet you'd see that
work disappear fast!

Tim Morken

-----Original Message-----
From: Ross Stapf [] 
Sent: Tuesday, April 15, 2003 8:19 AM
Subject: Re: justifying histology FTE

I am about to fight this battle here as well.  I can't guarantee this will
work, but I will find out in a few months.

1.  Keep accurate statistics.  I document Blocks, Slides, Immuno's, Special
Stains, and Turn Around Time.  For years there were complaints that slides
weren't getting out fast enough.  We established a threshold and now have
statistics that prove that at least on a monthly average we are meeting the
established times.  Some of this is computerized some is manual and some is
calculated using a combination of methods.

2.  Get the Pathologists behind your efforts.  The Pathologists are ordering
all of these slides for a reason.  Prove to them that you are doing a good
job and help them to understand that less people means slides will get out
later, and more people means slides will get out sooner.  They have the most
interest in getting quality slides quickly.  If they cannot be convinced to
use their influence to help you get more people then you will have a much
harder time with administration.

3.  Get the revenue figures.  If your Histology lab is turning a profit and
the profit is increasing while FTE's are staying the same, you will have
more bargaining power.  If not, you will really need the Pathologist's
behind you ready to fight for you.

Here we have had a 70% increase in the number of slides produced per month
since Jan 2001 and a 85% increase in the number of immuno's produced per
month since Feb 2002.  Since Jan 2001 we have only gained 1 FTE, although we
do now send out Cytology Prep to a reference lab freeing up  an FTE.

If you can't get another person, be creative.  Maybe there is an aspect of
the work that can be sent out or automated or assigned to the Secretaries
(slide and/or block filing).

And if nothing works, all of the experience gained in getting all of this
information together and trying to justify an FTE will come in very handy
and may help you get more money in your next job :)

Ross Stapf
Histology Supervisor
Washington Adventist Hospital
Takoma Park MD

>>> Claye Clyatt  04/15/03 06:35AM >>>
I agree this is a problem.  We often get requests to cut up to 10 blanks on
every block of huge cases which can take 1-2 techs an entire day to
complete.  There is no billing code for recuts for any reason.  These recuts
are always on old cases that I am told are required for studies associated
with certification of our children's hospital.  This makes us look like we
are doing nothing when we are really pulling our hair out.  Our routine work
must be completed on time while we are tied up with this kind of
non-billable work.  We also have extra workload doing recuts for consult
cases.  Our pathologist do not send out blocks because they often are not
returned.  So we cut numerous additional slides for someone else to perform
billable tests.

What's the solution?


Claye Clyatt
Chief Histotechnologist
Department of Pathology 
Room #BF119
Medical College of Georgia
Augusta, Ga 30912
office   (706) 721-3630
pager  (706) 721-7243-1132

>>>  04/14/03 05:34PM >>>
       Hello Histonetters,

       I was wandering what or how some of you are justifying your FTE?  We 
use to do workload for justification showing how many blocks/slides/stains 
are being done in the histology lab, but now all that is being asked for is 
billable test. This by no means justifies FTE.  Ex: we can have one billable

test but this one test can include as many as 10 or more blocks and slides. 
They are wanting to decrease hours and/or even take away one FTE and one 
part-timer. There is no-way our workload will get down with only two=20
employees. And for some reason Administration does not seem to care about 
our/my patients. It seems as though the bottom line is $$$$. Any input would

be appreciated!



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