[Histonet] Wage and Productivity

Tom McNemar TMcNemar <@t> lmhealth.org
Fri Dec 29 07:30:14 CST 2006

I looked at blocks per hour earlier this year.  I think it's more important to look at how things work in your own individual lab than to look at a recommended number that came from ideal or at least unknown cutting conditions. We have 3 cutters of varying experience levels and 3 pathologists with markedly different grossing styles with regard to the samples they submit (trying to be nice there :).  

It was more important to me to know/document how long the entire process took on average than it was to know how many blocks each person cut.  So here's what I did.....

Over the period of a few days, every cutter documented the time they started cutting and the time they finished.  When they finished, they also documented the number of blocks they cut.  Keep in mind that this was the time it took to complete the process.  The time included trimming the blocks, phone calls, labeling slides, extras for specials, putting slides in the staining rack and placing them on the stainer, etc., everything that person did while cutting.  It was based on our routine case mix, everything from small bx with multiple levels to large specimens... easy blocks to difficult blocks.....  Here are the final averages:  
  2.78 min per block or 21.6 blocks per hour
  2.82 min pre block or 21.3 blocks pre hour
  3.25 min per block or 18.5 blocks per hour

So now I know the average time it should to cut one block is 2.95 minutes and that the process of cutting 100 blocks should take us roughly 2 hours 45 minutes with 2 people cutting.

I also did the same for embedding.  The time included embedding and trimming the blocks.  Here are those averages:
  0.96 min per block or 62.5 blocks per hour
  1.11 min per block or 54.1 blocks per hour
  1.23 min per block or 48.8 blocks per hour
The embedding time doesn't add much time to the overall process of getting the slides cut since the cutting starts within 10 to 15 minutes of the start of embedding.

So that's what I did.  It gives me a much more useful look at that portion of our day and still provides a benchmark based on  our workload with our pathologists, and our equipment.

I'd be interested to see others....

Tom McNemar, HT(ASCP)
Histology Co-ordinator
Licking Memorial Health Systems
(740) 348-4163
(740) 348-4166
tmcnemar <@t> lmhealth.org

-----Original Message-----
From: histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
[mailto:histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu]On Behalf Of Jesus
Sent: Thursday, December 28, 2006 11:26 AM
To: Histonet
Subject: [Histonet] Wage and Productivity

 I was wondering of anyone that is willing to share wage information for
the southwest region of the USA.  Currently we are trying to build a
case, so that we can go to management for increases.  The infomormation
that we have from ASCP, helps, but they are wanting more.  I have gone
online and looked at job postings and it seems the starting salary
ranges from $23.00 to 26.00.  Also is there any articles out there that
pertain to how many blocks a tech should cut??

Jesus A. Ellin HT ASCP
Yuma Regional Medical Center
Histology Systems Technologist
Pathology Information Systems
928-336-7444 or 928-336-1144
Fax: 928-336-7319

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