Background: The University of Maryland Medical System, like all other medical systems, is faced with providing the highest quality care in an environment of increased demands and competition for resources. Some responses to this pressure include improved integration, coordination, and efficiency. Laboratory integration has been highlighted by our medical system as a promising area for improvement. Standardization of practices, including job descriptions, is an important step on this journey.
Methods: With the help of the Human Resources department and the laboratory directors, we conducted an assessment of existing titles and practices from across our medical system. Analysis and evaluation of job descriptions demonstrated some inconsistencies and opportunities for standardization. Discussion and dialogue allowed us to reach consensus on a standard philosophy, format, and approach.
Results: We created a system wide Phlebotomist job description, based on current practice, which reflected the needs of our medical system. We will be able to use this tool to standardize other job titles, as well as for recruitment and as a basis for retention.
Conclusion: This methodology can be easily duplicated and followed to evaluate and design job descriptions, as well as to reach consensus in an efficient and organized approach to job standardization in the laboratory.