Pathologist workload, work distribution and significant absences or departures at a regional hospital laboratory Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Objective Assess the work environment of salaried pathologists via (1) the national workload system (L4E), (2) work distribution among/in three hospital groups, and (3) the frequency of significant absences or departures (SADs). Methods Automated analysis of pathology reports from a regional laboratory (accessioned 2011–2019) using validated computer code. Results The study set contained 574,099 pathology reports, reported by 63 pathologists. The average yearly L4E workload units/full-time equivalent for three hospital groups were 8,101.6, 6,906.5 and 4,215.8. The average Gini coefficient for full-time pathologists in the three hospital groups were respectively 0.05, 0.16 and 0.23. The average yearly SADs rates were respectively 13%, 16% and 9%. The group with the highest SADs rate had the intermediate Gini coefficient and intermediate workload. Conclusions High individual workload and work maldistribution appear to be associated with SADs. Individual workload maximums and greater transparency may be essential for limiting staff turnover, maintaining high morale, and efficient laboratory function with a high quality of care.

publication date

  • January 2022