Medicine of the Future in America

Evaluating STAT Testing Alternatives by Calculating Annual Laboratory Costs: The Calculating Annual Laboratory Costs Model (CALC) (Part 5)

Evaluating STAT Testing Alternatives by Calculating Annual Laboratory Costs: The Calculating Annual Laboratory Costs Model (CALC) (Part 5)Labor expenses can be categorized as being allocated or incremental. Allocated time occurs when staff who are already being paid perform a new task that is typically not in their job function. Incremental labor costs are incurred when new staff are hired or reassigned to perform specific job duties. Incremental labor increases overall costs while changes in work responsibilities do not generally increase labor expenses.
In Table 1, we assume that a shift in testing from the central laboratory to a stat lab would require an increase in staffing level. Five medical technologists would be hired (or reassigned) to operate a 24-hour service, each to work 2,080 hours per year. If a stat lab is being set up to reduce turnaround time, labor savings may either be realized in the central laboratory because of the shift in testing load or may not be realized if staffing has to be maintained to provide service to other hospital departments. buy levaquin online

The incremental labor costs for dedicated equipment operators in the stat laboratory can be calculated by two methods. Either the hourly salary can be multiplied by both the number of hours each person works per year and the number of staff members, or the number of full-time employee slots can be multiplied by the appropriate annual salary. Additional labor expenses may also be incurred for phlebotomists, runners responsible for transporting samples, and laboratory staff who perform quality control, calibration, and maintenance on off-site equipment. Expenses required for training equipment operators also should be included when calculating labor costs.

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