Activity-based differentiation of pathologists' workload in surgical pathology

G.A. Meijer, J.J. Oudejans, J.J.M. Koevoets, C.J.L.M. Meijer

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Adequate budget control in pathology practice requires accurate allocation of resources. Any changes in types and numbers of specimens handled or protocols used will directly affect the pathologists' workload and consequently the allocation of resources. The aim of the present study was to develop a model for measuring the pathologists' workload that can take into account the changes mentioned above. The diagnostic process was analyzed and broken up into separate activities. The time needed to perform these activities was measured. Based on linear regression analysis, for each activity, the time needed was calculated as a function of the number of slides or blocks involved. The total pathologists' time required for a range of specimens was calculated based on standard protocols and validated by comparing to actually measured workload. Cutting up, microscopic procedures and dictating turned out to be highly correlated to number of blocks and/or slides per specimen. Calculated workload per type of specimen was significantly correlated to the actually measured workload. Modeling pathologists' workload based on formulas that calculate workload per type of specimen as a function of the number of blocks and slides provides a basis for a comprehensive, yet flexible, activity-based costing system for pathology
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)623-628
JournalVirchows Archiv
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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