Re: Workload of blocks and slides

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From:Daniel & Linda Botsford <>
To:"Mickie L. Johnson" <>
Date:Thu, 01 Jul 1999 13:57:38 -0400
Content-Type:text/plain; charset=us-ascii

Hi Mickie,

We have a workload measurement system that can be related to staffing levels.
Here are some previous e-mail on this subject. I will mail you a copy of the
worksheets I use in Histology and Cytology after the Holiday ( Canada Day in
NSH, Region IX).

Dan Botsford
Windsor Regional Hospital,
1995 Lens Avenue,
Windsor, Ontario, Canada.
N8W 1L9
519-254-5577 Ext.52245
Fax 519-254-6861

           Re: Workload management
           Thu, 15 Oct 1998 09:39:31 +1000
           Mick Rentsch <>
           "A. Mark Briones" <>

Dear Mark,
some 15 yrs ago, and maybe still used by some Institutions today, was
Canadian Workload Recording system for Pathology Services. It was
used as a
Management tool for lab. managers/ personel staff etc.and carried a
time measurement for procedures and procedure groups for all disiplines
incl. clerical. Basically these times multiplied for the procedures for a
given month and divided by the actual staff time was expressed as a
This system was modified for Labs in Victoria Australia by the health
and the RCPA and it was claimed that Histolabs should operate between
which allowed time for keeping up to date, meeting continuing
etc.; however many labs. esp. either in country locations or Private Labs
frequently had figures between 110 & 130%, where it was felt that such
figures would cause high staff turnover, illness etc and was grounds for
getting more staff.
The system became an embarrisment for the health dept. because it
highlighted a few institutions that were grossly inefficient and
overstaffed, but were unable to do anything about it - so that those that
were overworked- remained overworked. The system was dropped
mainly because
of union pressure from a minority.
While the system was no longer "Official" some Lab Managers like
continued to use it for another 8-10yrs, as it provided an accurate means
workload comparison for previous years, changing trends in blocks/case,
types of special stains etc. and later when takeovers began an accurate
means of forcasting requirements because the labs we took over had
used the
same recording systems in our region and we could compare apples to
Now the takeovers are complete, we still recorded stats, but these were
greatly simplified for Management and were based solely on charge nos.
have since lost their significance as a tool for comparison or prediction.
An example of time units is as follows. (May need to be self determined-
once determined, must not be altered otherwise you loose your basis for
Clerical/case:- 15 mins (Includes accessioning and report etc.)
Block:- 10 mins (includes all cut-up, processing, embedding and one
H&E) (Includes filing & maintainence etc.)
Extra H&E:- 6 min. (Includes filing & maianainence etc.)
Extra unstained section
Group 1 Special Stain:-10 mins
Group.2 Special Stain:- 12
Group3 special stain :-15mins
Group 4 Special stain:- 20mins (Originally incl Peroxidase but when
and expertise increased was dropped to a Group 2.
Autopsy (Asssistance incl. sewing up and cleaning , sterilisation
maintainence etc.) 200mins.
You will be able to design your own Mark, firstly list all procedures ,
decide if any can be clustered. Assign minute vales. Draw up workload
recording sheet . Arrange with the pay office to supply you with the total
hours and minutes worked for the dept. for clerical and technical
staff.(Pathologist are not included). Run system for three months to
establish a base line and determine a value (% is as good as any) and rate
the period as being slow / average/ or just plain flat tacker; then set %
limits to reflect underworked/ overworked . If because of new
technology the
% limits change then consider assigning a new minute value for the
like we did for Immunoperoxidase.
See if any of your Canadian cousins still have anything you can adapt.
Regards Mike Rentsch (Downunder)
-----Original Message-----
From: A. Mark Briones <>
To: HistoNet Server <>
Date: Wednesday, 14 October 1998 4:54
Subject: Workload management

>Overworked Histonetters --
>Has anyone developed a histology duties spreadsheet that can be
used to
>evaluate the need for additional staff (FTE) in a hospital based
>Lab?  Last week, I attended an ASCP teleconference on a Model for
>Cytopathology Staffing Needs.   I would like to work on a model for
>histology staffing needs.  I am working on a spreadsheet but fear it
may be
>either too complex or too simplified.  We have two HTs to cover 5
(7.5 hr/
>day) days a week, rotation on weekends (4-8 hours), and cover each
>sickness, required and unscheduled time off ?,  vacation ?, etc.
>ed. and team meetings are a thing of the past.  I need a solid, flag
>justification for a part-time HT ready for presentation in the next few
>weeks.  Help!
>Mark Briones
>Valley Children's Hospital
>Madera CA  USA

           Workload management
           Fri, 16 Oct 1998 19:51:18 -0400
           Daniel & Linda Botsford <>
           HistoNet Server <>

Dear Mark,
Greetings from your "Canadian Cousin",
The information you seek about workload measurement comes from the
Canadian Institute for Health Information. The web site is
<> click on MIS guidelines. They offer the manual on
CD for Windows 3.0 or better. This is an electronic book versus paper
Mick Rentsch from "downunder" is correct in his assertions of the
usefulness as a management tool.
If you forward your mailing address, I will sent you my monthly
worksheets based on the MIS guidelines to give you  more detailed
information on their use.

Windsor Regional Hospital,

Mickie L. Johnson wrote:

> Hi Histonetters,
> I would appreciate any input any of you could provide about staffing and WL.
> We have 6 FTE HT's, and 3.5 FTE Lab Assistants and 2 PA's who handle 29000
> surgical cases per year with a daily average of 360 paraffin blocks and 778
> H&E slides plus special stains and 2-3 IHC runs on a Dako stainer.  We feel
> understaffed and need statistics to justify more personnel, especially HT's.
> Any input any of you could offer would be greatly appreciated.
> Thank you.
> Mickie
> Michael L. Johnson, HT/HTL(ASCP)
> Histology Supervisor
> Sacred Heart Medical Center
> W. 101 8th Avenue
> Spokane, Washington 99220
> (509) 626-4418
> FAX (509) 455-2052

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