[Histonet] Productivity

Jasper, Thomas G. TJasper <@t> smdc.org
Tue Jul 26 17:59:32 CDT 2005

Dear D,

We have a fairly detailed productivity tracking system in place.  This is in
large part the aftermath of a consultant group that basically tried to cut
the department to the bone.  Fortunately for us we were operating in an
efficient manner and came through pretty much unscathed.
I do however have a good deal more paperwork (electronic) to do as a result
and my mantra to the staff about this is that it proves we do what we say we
In a nutshell on a daily basis I track slide production, this includes
histology (H+E), cytology (gyn and non-gyn), special stains, and IHC.  We
are also picking up the bone marrow cores and particles as we do H+E's and
Fe stains on them.  I also track hours worked for the histotechs, cytotechs,
cyto assistants, transcriptionists and autopsy tech.  I receive minutes
transcribed as a production value for typed dictation on path reports.
I also track quality and service indicators, for histology it is, 1st
out/last out time, for slide trays.  For cytology it is case TAT and for
transcription it is reports pending.  I have just begun (this month) with a
quality report for IHC which is given at our management meeting (along with
the other quality indicators).
All of this data goes onto spreadsheets (daily) for 2 week intervals
coinciding with pay periods to reconcile payroll.  Weekly and at the end of
each pay period certain figures are carried over onto other spreadsheets
which are then accessible to and interpreted by senior administration.
Having said all that, I do track blocks daily as a production value on my
own.  This was not mandated to me by the consultants.  I do it because I
believe it is a valid production indicator.  This is because every block is
handled at least once at the grossing bench, once at the embedding center,
will generate at least one slide, is block checked against a slide at least
once, and is filed at least once.  Block counts are solid basic indicators
of the minimum work involved as they are handled.  No one can ever view them
as inflated or exaggerated figures.  Our pathologists also like to use the
block count numbers (daily) as a gauge for how big a work day to expect.  I
believe they also base their own division of labor on this number.
Just as a note I do spend roughly 50% of my time on the bench, the
consultants target for me is 15%.  That's just not real world at this time.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions, I'll do my best to answer

Thomas Jasper HT(ASCP)BAS
Anatomic Pathology Coordinator
SMDC Clinical Laboratory
Duluth, MN
tjasper <@t> smdc.org

-----Original Message-----
From: Dndsomi <@t> aol.com [mailto:Dndsomi <@t> aol.com]
Sent: Tuesday, July 26, 2005 3:31 PM
To: histonet <@t> pathology.swmed.edu
Subject: [Histonet] Productivity

We've just been asked to start turning in our histology procedures to be  
included in our labs daily productivity.  How should we report our
workload; # 
of cassettes, blocks, slides, special stains ?  Any information  will surely
DDietz, HT
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