[Histonet] Staffing levels...

joelle weaver joelleweaver <@t> hotmail.com
Tue Nov 8 12:06:49 CST 2011

I agree that in house developed metrics and benchmarks are always the most useful. As you pointed out, just productivity measures and metrics without task analysis and consideration of work flow should be used with some caution. Also agree that speed pales when it is compromised by errors and a reduction in quality. With experience, you learn how to manage these conflicting pressures and I would add that a good supervisor can help their staff in managing this. I have seen where those who do not perform these tasks, (such as microtomy),  or fully understand the work flow or process of histology in any given lab , will sometimes try to use such numbers, and this can result to encourage speed, but not accuracy and quality- that is the danger so to speak. Most frequently I have encountered this myself when I have a supervisor or manager who is not a histologist, and/or has never spent any time on any histology bench. However regardess of background, the more insightful will soon see that this will not yield the  overall desired results, though it may make productivity numbers go up in the short run, other metrics such as errors, mislabels, recuts, etc., will tend to spike. Just speaks for wisdom, experience and taking the time to develop measures that actually work, and are directed at broader organizational goals- yes, this takes a little more time and effort for sure.

Joelle Weaver MAOM, BA, (HTL) ASCP

 > Date: Tue, 8 Nov 2011 09:46:17 -0800
> From: tkngflght <@t> yahoo.com
> To: histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
> Subject: [Histonet] Staffing levels...
> Hi Guys-
> We know this is a sensitive subject!  I realize my response, below, doesn't answer your question--you'll get the numbers from other Netters.  Please be cautious in using them out of context for your lab and your staffers!!
>   depend on so many moving parts that in a small lab (like yours) each set of tasks may take more time than in a huge production style lab.  
> Stock numbers are a good place to start.  For a little investment of time, you can do productivity numbers for your own staff that mean more for your manager than the stock numbers. These numbers
> If you're a solo tech who accessions, grosses, processes, cuts, stains by hand and turns out with specials and then files everything ALL BY YOURSELF, the max is about 50 blocks a day if you're a ROCK STAR.  If you work in a situation where there are no transitions between tasks in a larger lab--sure a good tech can cut 180+ biopsy blocks a day but they'll blow out their shoulders in a few short years.  Perspective is an important part of the picture you give to those who are asking.
> I had a tech who was WICKED fast and everyone thought she was the high-producer.  She made 1-2 minor mistakes a day that required time to correct.  The slower tech made NO mistakes...so in the end her productivy rate was highter than the speed demon.  
> My three cents!
> Cheryl 
> Cheryl Kerry, HT(ASCP) 
> Full Staff Inc. 
> Staffing the AP Lab by helping one GREAT Tech at a time.  
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