RE: [Histonet] Workload/Billable Tests and Staffing

From:"Barnhart, Tammy"

As we all know billed tests are a terrible way to calculate workload in the
histology lab.  I have found that using our CLIA numbers (blocks + special
stains + immunos + ISH)per hour worked to be a much better indicator of how
busy we are.  If you have a CLIA certificate, then someone has been
submitting these numbers.  CLIA uses them to determine how "big" your lab is
and thus what your fees will be.  Using a standard that is used by a
government agency to determine workload is an easier sell to the "bean
counters" than some formula you come up with independently.  Granted you are
not capturing recuts and the like, but if you trend these numbers for your
lab, you should be able to track your productivity. Remember, every lab is
different so what is happening in your lab is what is important. If your
staff is not always getting lunch or breaks or your department has a lot of
overtime, then whatever number you are running at now is too high.  We had a
nationally recognized laboratory productivity assessment company do their
comparisons at our lab and they used CLIA numbers for the histology portion.
By the way, our CLIA#/worked hour runs around 4.45.  

Tammy Barnhart, BS, HTL(ASCP)
Anatomic Pathology Manager
St. Alexius Medical Center
Bismarck, ND

-----Original Message-----
[]On Behalf Of Jones,
Sent: Monday, September 17, 2007 1:46 PM
To: Histonet (E-mail)
Subject: [Histonet] Workload/Billable Tests and Staffing

Greetings fellow Histotechs.  I would appreciate it if anyone could help me
or share their own method of reporting workload to the "powers that be"; who
in turn use that information to determine staffing in the Histology Lab.  

In my situation, staffing is being determined based soley on billable tests,
which as we all know is not a true indication of the work being done.  We
are a small community hospital and essentially do it all.  We run and get
the specimens, accession them, set them up with cassettes, gross and dictate
things that do not need to be cut, prepare slides for the next day,cut and
run immunos, etc.  In short, we are extremely busy, but this is not
reflected in "billable tests".  

Could you please share with me any ideas or formulas you have to more
accurately report what you are doing?  Or, if you are willing to share your
number of billable tests and your number of techs, perhaps I could compile
this information and gain some kind of persepctive.  I was only recently
given this responsibility, and apologize for my naivite, inexperience and
ignorance!  I'd greatly appreciate your advice and knowledge.

Thank you all in advance!  Laura

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