Re: [Histonet] Help on Workload - CAP
|From:||"Michael LaFriniere" |
As chairperson for the NSH Productivity Task force, The December 2004 Issue of "The Journal of Histotechnology" "Special Report" may be of benefit to you. We performed a nation wide study over a year period on the issues you addressed concerning productivity in the histology laboratory. You can probably obtain a copy of the report if you do not have this issue by calling the NSH office.
Michael R. LaFriniere
Cytology Services of Maryland (CSM)
301-206-2555 ext 27
>>> "Katia Cristina Catunda" 08/10/05 8:57 PM >>>
Searching for a workload parameter to analyse if we do have many or less
histotechnicians as necessary for our routine I found one "Q & A" answer in
CAP (cited in the end of the email). Our slide-average per histotechnician=20
is about 40 slides per day and I don't see how I can reduce our staff to get
the 50 slides suggested by CAP.
We do have at the same time 2 technicians on embedding (starting at 6 am), 4
techinicians on microtomy (starting on 7 am) and 2 technicians on staining
and mounting (starting on 7 am). We don't have any automatization on
staining neither mounting. We release our firsts slides at 8h20 and they are
continuously liberated until the end of the routine (about 12 pm).
The technicians who does embedding does special stains and all the
processor's battery-change. The technicians that stain and mount the slides
does the archivation of the cassettes. And at 12pm we start our microwave
routine with the same technicians that processed the morning-routine.
Can anyone give me some tips... are we so away from the average workload of
the other labs? How can I evalue it precisely? Pleeeeassseee...
Thanks you all,
Q. How many cassettes should be processed by a histotechnologist during an
A. No established comprehensive standard addresses histology workload.
Previously published CAP workload guidelines for histopathology, based on
data from the Laboratory Management Index Program, say "each well-trained=20
HT/ HTL can be expected to produce approximately 3,000 slides per quarter,
or 12,000 slides per year. Included in these totals are 2,500 H&E slides and
500 common special stains, or 10,000 H&E slides and 2,000 common special
stains. If only rare special stains are requested, more set-up time is
required. Twelve thousand slides per year is equivalent to 50 slides per
day. These are average numbers for a lab where much of the work is not
In practice, a uniform standard across laboratories may be an unrealistic=20
goal because many factors influence the number of blocks a
histotechnician/technologist can cut in a given period. These include:
a.. The experience level of the technician. A new employee or student
would be expected to cut at a slower rate.
b.. The case complexity. Biopsies, which require multiple levels and
careful trimming, require considerably more time than routine cases (for
c.. The number of interruptions. Smaller laboratories, in which the
cutting technician may be answering the phone or receiving special stain or
recut requests, or both, will have lower productivity.
The most useful standard for employees in a given laboratory is set by the
supervisor or senior technologists, or both, based on past productivity
To address productivity in a more global sense, it is necessary to assign
work units to each of the varied tasks in histology, including loading and
maintaining processors, embedding, cutting, routine staining, special
stains, and immunohistochemistry. It is then possible to benchmark units
worked per hour. As with routine cutting, however, the assignment of work
unit values to a given task can only be done realistically by the histology
supervisor and pathologist at a given site, taking into account economies of
scale and levels of automation.
Richard W. Brown, MD
Core Histology Laboratory
Memorial Hermann Healthcare System
Surgical Pathology Committee
With members of the
for Histology Committee:
Freida L. Carson, PhD, HT(ASCP)
Lena T. Spencer,
MA, HT(ASCP)HTL, QIHC
Vincent Della Speranza,
Sue E. Lewis, HTL(ASCP)
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