[Histonet] slides to pathologist - one response.

Cheryl tkngflght <@t> yahoo.com
Sat Mar 12 15:56:12 CST 2011

Every lab is different and it doesn't just depend on the histotechs.  Are there reprocessing issues, do you have decals, held for fixation, specials, IHCs, other delays inherent with the process.  Are you counting 'slides on the desk' or 'cases signed out and released to physicians'?  If the latter, then you have another dimension for metrics.  Add in cases delayed for internal  or external consults and other special testing,(unless they're signed out with later addendums--yuck!) and other reasonable delays.  And yes, there are staffing issues, equipment issues, and all the other 'issues'.  In reality--there is no universal standard other than a few gross similarities. 
Most labs use the afore-mentioned 90-95% by 2nd day post receipt (not post procurement unless you're working in a hospital with controlled distrubution).  For your lab--start with something loose with measurables (metrics) that are concrete.  Don't make it too detailed or you'll spend your day chasing numbers!  
Once you start a program, keep track.over a short period of time to tighten things your metrics and make sure what your measuring is real and has meaning.  Measure and develop categories for reasonable delays that you won't count against turn-around-time (TAT) (ex: we pull out decals).  We don't want to set up systems that cause more 'aw shucks' moments artifically because we didn't set the measured components in line with reality.  I've worked in this kind of situation--amazingly demoralizing because the staff can't win their 'game of Slides On The Desk'  and TAT can even get worse if your metrics aren't attainable!   Fortunately, the inverse is also true!!
my three cents--
Cheryl K 


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