The Medical Examiner provides pathology services within the county. The project’s goal was to develop and implement specific recommendations for productivity improvement. A primary objective was conservation of cash during a time of revenue shortfalls and budget reductions. National accreditation requirements provided perspective.
Work flows and task definitions were established for all department employees. Work schedules for professional staff were analyzed for possible coverage issues. Benchmarking of departmental performance and methods was done with the San Diego County (CA) Office of the Medical Examiner. Staff also analyzed organizational structure and span of control issues.
A staffing model based on measurable work volumes enabled staffing adjustments in both the office administration and the forensic assistant group (where adjustment occurred on all three shifts). An analysis of supervisory span of control revealed an opportunity to improve span of control from 4.25 to 5.67 through the consolidation of two supervisory positions in the administrative area. A detailed task analysis provided an audit-worthy basis for a new fee structure, increasing potential departmental revenues. Implemented recommendations reduced net county expenditures per unit of service provided.