Context.—

Laboratory managers and medical directors are charged with staffing their clinical laboratories as efficiently as possible.

Objective.—

To report and analyze the results of 3 College of American Pathologists Q-Probes studies that surveyed the normative rates of laboratory technical staffing ratios.

Design.—

Participants in the College of American Pathologists Q-Probes program submitted data on the levels of staffing and test volumes performed in their laboratories in 2014, 2016, and 2019. From these data, we calculated departmental productivity ratios, defined as testing volume per full-time equivalent, and degrees of managerial oversight, defined as the ratio of nonmanagement to management full-time equivalents. Participants completed general questionnaires surveying their hospital and laboratory demographics and practices, the data from which we determined demographic and practice characteristics that were significantly associated with technical staffing ratios.

Results.—

Sixty-seven, 82, and 79 institutions submitted data for the years 2019, 2016, and 2014, respectively. Technical staffing ratios varied widely among the various laboratory departments within each institution and among different institutions participating in this study. With the exception of cytology departments, productivity and managerial oversight ratios did not significantly change between these 3 studies. In the 2019 study, greater testing volumes were associated with higher productivity ratios. Significant associations between managerial oversight ratios and practice characteristics were not consistent across the 3 studies.

Conclusions.—

Technical staffing ratios varied widely among the various laboratory departments within each institution and among different institutions participating in this study.

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Author notes

The authors have no relevant financial interest in the products or companies described in this article.