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Laboratory staff play an important role in the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of disease by performing tests in laboratories. These staff account for two-thirds of direct clinical laboratory costs. This Q-PROBES study is designed to produce data that will assist laboratorians in managing these costs and gauging their staffing levels.

Laboratories particpating in this study will submit data on their overall laboratory staffing levels and on their staffing levels for four laboratory testing sections including anatomic pathology, chemistry/hematology/immunology, microbiology, and transfusion medicine. From these levels we will calculate staffing ratios for these four sections relative to overall laboratory staffing, managerial staffing, and billable tests. We will benchmark your laboratory's staffing ratios against those of other institutions participating in this study, and where applicable, against peer groups with similar billable test profiles.

Enrollment in this Q-PROBES study will help laboratory directors address CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program Checklist statement TLC.11300, which requires sufficient numbers of personnel are available to meet the needs of the laboratory.


The aim of this Q-PROBES study is to measure staffing levels in different areas of the laboratory, calculate key staffing ratios, and compare all staffing ratios with those of other institutions participating in this study.

Data Collection

Participants will use their laboratory or institution's revenue and usage reports to obtain billable test counts and staffing figures for the most recently completed fiscal year.

Performance Indicators

  • Overall Laboratory
    • Non-management laboratory full-time equivalent employees (FTE)/management FTE
    • Specimen accessioning FTE/non-management FTE
    • Laboratory quality assurance FTE/all laboratory staff FTEs
    • FTEs preparing send-out tests/non-management FTE
    • Billable tests/specimen accessioning FTE
  • Anatomic Pathology
    • Histology blocks/histology non-management FTE
    • Cytology accessions/cytology non-management FTE
    • Non-management FTE/management FTE
  • Chemistry/Hematology/Immunology
    • Total billable tests/non-management FTE
    • Non-management FTE/management FTE
  • Microbiology
    • Total billable tests/non-management FTE
    • Non-management FTE/management FTE
  • Tranfusion Medicine
    • Crossmatches or type and screens/non-management FTE
    • Transfused units/non-management FTE
    • Non-management FTE/management FTE

Shipping Schedule

A Mailing: December 3, 2018

Additional Information

This is a one-time study conducted in the first quarter.

Q-PROBES qualify for Self-Reported Training Opportunities to be used for fulfilling requirements for certification maintenance by agencies such as the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP). Please verify with your certifying agency to determine your education requirements.

For Comprehensive Collection of Tools, see Quality Management Tools.

Select Q-PROBES and Q-TRACKS studies to support your quality improvement initiatives.
Anatomic Pathology
Clinical Pathology
Turnaround Time
Patient Safety
Transfusion Medicine
Chemistry/ Hematology
Customer Satisfaction
Technical Staffing Ratios (QP191)
Opioid Drug Testing Stewardship (QP192)
Expression Rates in Invasive Breast Carcinoma (QP193)
The Impact of Pathologist Review on Peripheral Blood Smears (QP194)
Patient Identification Accuracy (QT1)
Blood Culture Contamination (QT2)
Laboratory Specimen Acceptability (QT3)
In-Date Blood Product Wastage (QT4)
Gynecologic Cytology Outcomes: Biopsy Correlation Performance (QT5)
Satisfaction With Outpatient Specimen Collection (QT7)
Stat Test Turnaround Time Outliers (QT8)
Critical Values Reporting (QT10)
Troponin Turnaround Times (QT15)
Corrected Results (QT16)
Outpatient Order Entry Errors (QT17)

*The CAP requires accredited laboratories to have a quality management plan that covers all areas of the laboratory and includes benchmarking key measures of laboratory performance (GEN.13806, GEN.20316, COM.04000). The Joint Commission requires accredited hospitals to regularly collect and analyze performance data (PI.01.01.01, PI.02.01.01). CLIA requires laboratories to monitor, assess, and correct problems identified in preanalytic, analytic, and postanalytic systems (§493.1249, §493.1289, §493.1299).