Mike Baisch Discusses How to Balance Staffing to Workload in the Laboratory
Mike Baisch, a principal systems engineer at Mayo Clinic, authored an article in MedicalLab Management on staffing to workload in the laboratory. In the article, he talks about the necessity to place the right people in the right place at the right time in order for the laboratory to excel. According to Baisch, the goal of every clinical laboratory is to strike a balance between overstaffing situations that lead to financial waste and understaffing staffing situations that can compromise patient care.
In the article, Baisch discusses the importance of understanding the three primary components of a staffing-to-workload analysis: direct effort, indirect effort, and operational needs:
- Direct effort refers to the personnel labor effort involved in direct patient-specimen handling as it processes from specimen to result.
- Indirect effort accounts for all daily testing-related tasks performed by lab staff that do not directly involve patient specimens, test data, or the patients themselves.
- Operational needs can be defined as non-procedural-based responsibilities that consume staffing resources. The difference between these and indirect-effort tasks is that operational needs are further removed from the testing process and are more operational in nature.
Baisch also analyzes the impact of direct effort, indirect effort, and operational needs on test utilization. "Proper test utilization means having the right staff performing the right test, in the right place, at the right time, for the right patient," Baisch says. "And, proper staffing allows a lab to meet the requirements of the right test at the right time, and all three components influence utilization."
For more information on staffing-to-workload analyses, read Baisch's comprehensive blog posts on Insights .