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2011, Volume 27, Number 2, Page(s) 098-105     
[ Abstract (Turkish) ] [ PDF ] [ Similar Articles ]
DOI: 10.5146/tjpath.2011.01056
Pathology Laboratories Staff Workload Evaluation in Turkey: A Survey Study
Alp USUBÜTÜN1, Sarp ÜNER2, Fevzi HARORLU3, Erdener ÖZER4, Sıtkı TUZLALI5, Arzu RUACAN1, Orhan KOÇ6, Kutsal YÖRÜKOĞLU4
1Department of Pathology, Hacettepe University, Faculty of Medicine, ANKARA, TURKEY
2Department of Public Health, Hacettepe University, Faculty of Medicine, ANKARA, TURKEY
3Department of Pathology, Bursa Ali Osman Sönmez Oncology Hospital, BURSA, TURKEY
4Department of Pathology, Dokuz Eylül University, Faculty of Medicine, İZMİR, TURKEY
5Department of Pathology, İstanbul University, Faculty of Medicine, İSTANBUL, TURKEY
6Ministry of Health, General Directorate of Treatment Services, ANKARA, TURKEY
Keywords: Pathology, Laboratories, Staff workload, Quality control

Objective: The workload affects the quality of the pathology report. The aim of this study was to investigate the territorial distribution and productivity of pathology laboratories around Turkey and to estimate the staff workload.

Material and Method: A survey questioning the workload was sent to all Ministry of Health and university hospitals. Staff workload was questioned according to the hospital classification and educational activity to evaluate the productivity. Data were entered using SPSS 16.0 statistical software package program and the distribution criteria, t-test and one-way anova were used in the analysis to evaluate the differences between the averages.

Results: An average of 2.8 pathologists worked at the pathology laboratories. A total of 5.500 biopsies and 3.750 cytology specimens were received and 20.000 blocks prepared per year. Pathologists evaluated 1.935 biopsies and 1.400 cytology specimens on average and this is equivalent to 2.718 biopsies per year. Gynecology and general surgery department materials constituted 57 percent of all biopsies. Each technician prepared 6.200 blocks, 11.500 slides and 1.000 immunohistochemistry preparations on average. An average of 3.4 paraffin blocks was prepared for each biopsy. The efficiency was low in 17% of teaching hospitals and 77.8% of non-teaching hospitals. In contrast 62.5% of teaching hospitals had work overload. The majority (70.5%) of the respondents mentioned staff shortage.

Conclusion: There is no pathologist shortage in Turkey and the problem is workload distribution. Pathology residents' overwork would be reduced by using pathology assistants. There is no shortage of technicians or secretaries, but uneven distribution. Pathology staff planning must be tailored taking into account the features of each hospital. Standard planning for all hospitals is not suitable.

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