Re: justifying histology FTE

From:Ross Stapf

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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