Re: AP Coordinator Help

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From:"Tim Morken" <> (by way of histonet)
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This is obviously a complicated subject but there is a methodical way to
proceed. First off you need to talk to you lab manager and QA officer to see
what resources they have to offer you. They should offer you some training
before you get going.

What you want to do is determine where you have the most pressing problems
first. Don't waste your time on the little things first and don't fall into
the trap of trying to fix everything at once (assuming something needs
fixing is often a mistake!).

First look at the places where fast results are critical; frozen sections,
biopsy specimens, etc. Determine (from talking to techs and pathologists)
what (if any ) problems there are with the present system.

If there are  no pressing problems, move on to the general work flow and
general quality control and look at the process from start to finish. I'm
sure you will get loads of suggestions! Involve your staff in very step and
get them to do some of the work for you. You will get much better
cooperation if people are helping to set their own rules.

After gathering some information you can make a determination of what needs
to be done first (Again, work on only the most pressing needs at the given
time. As you fix problems other things will come to the forefront).

Make up a goal for each problem (the CAP calls this a QA Monitor"). For
instance, let's say you keep receiving containiners from one area of the
hosptial without the proper labeling, which leads to delays. Make a goal
that all containers will have the proper labeling on receipt in the lab and
then go after that problem full force until you have it solved. In fact, you
should make a statement that explains under what conditions the goal is
considered "met" so you know when you are done!

You will have to involve others in this since you cannot do it all yourself.
Your lab director, through her/his influence, may be critical to solving
some problems as will your lab manager and lab QA officer.

Try to have only 4 or 5 things going at once. More than that and it become
overwhelming. If you have assistant supervisors ("lead" or "senior" techs)
put them to work helping you out. You will find that if you let your techs
help solve the problems the staff will be more enthusiastic about doing the
best job possible.

Tim Morken, B.A., EMT(MSA), HTL(ASCP)
Infectious Disease Pathology
Centers for Disease Control
1600 Clifton Rd.
Atlanta, GA 30333


Phone: (404) 639-3964
FAX:  (404)639-3043

----Original Message Follows----
From: "Paula Wilder" <>
Subject: AP Coordinator Help
Date: Sun, 09 Jan 2000 17:21:28 PST

Hello Histonetters,

I was wondering if anyone on the Histonet could help advise and steer me in
the right direction?  I am a Histotech with no supervisory experience.  I
have just been appointed the AP Coordinator and Quality Improvement person
for our lab, having full responsibility for the operations of Anatomic
Pathology as well as assessing the need for improvement (this is a newly
created position).  My primary goal is quality improvement, but I am not
sure how to proceed.  Initially my thoughts are to visit other area
hospitals and observe how they operate and then compare that to the flow in
our laboratory.  Is there anyone else in this position who has some advice
to share?  I would be extremely grateful for any and all help.  Thank you so

Paula Wilder
St. Joseph Medical Center
Towson, MD. 21204
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