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Chapter 17 : Staffing and Scheduling
This chapter explains the dynamics of staffing and scheduling laboratory personnel with respect to current labor trends and business requirements. It describes the personnel classifications as determined by governing bodies, accreditation agencies, and specific laboratory needs. The chapter compares and contrasts traditional versus alternative staffing plans, using personnel classification and qualification and service requirements. It also describes key success factors for laboratory scheduling and metrics for effectiveness and efficiency. The education and experience required of the staff as well as staff scheduling models can optimize laboratory operations. Laboratory managers must understand the current and future dynamics that influence staff availability and must be aware of scheduling opportunities to provide efficient and effective laboratory operations. Each technologist or technician must be competent to perform laboratory tests based on the specific policies and procedures for the laboratory. The staffing model widely used 20 years ago was based on specialists for every discipline in the laboratory. Newer workload models may be available and should be investigated for appropriate use in the laboratory. The key to workload recording is to determine the basis for calculation, while reducing the variables that can affect the results and limiting the exceptions that will skew performance. Effective laboratory staffing and scheduling will have a positive impact on the laboratory as a service provider.