In the Department of Histo- and Cytopathology, Herlev University Hospital, Copenhagen, a time study was performed according to the principles known from work sampling. From 22.11-12.12.1993 laboratory technicians, pathologists and secretaries were interviewed and an activity form was filled in. Six thousand nine hundred and fifty interviews were performed and the time study showed that for all groups of personnel 40% of the time was used on specimens sent for microscopy, 5% on autopsies (excl. microscopy), 15% on teaching and research, 20% on scientific meetings, reading and administration and 20% on other activities e.g. lunch, holiday, absence owing to illness. There was little variation for the different groups of personnel. On the other hand the time used on specific laboratory procedures, e.g. serial cutting, special-, and immunostaining, varied considerably for laboratory technicians, pathologists and secretaries respectively. Time studies, especially "work sampling" yield important information for the planning of laboratory services and provide documentation also for the time not directly related to routine work.
Comment In: Ugeskr Laeger. 1997 Jun 9;159(24):3798-99214058