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Here is a list of questions submitted about the Pathology Test Prices Costing ModelTM accompanied by responses provided by RLK Associates.  

Please feel free to Contact Us with your questions, comments or suggestions.

Question
Answer
Can you allocate specific staff costs for different sections within the same laboratory?
   

Yes, as part of the FREE support provided with the costing model RLK Associates have developed a further worksheet within which staff costs can be allocated to different tests, investigations and sections of the same laboratory.  The code is not entered into the standard version of the costing model and can be simply done for any of our licensed users on request.

This is just one example of the flexibility of the RLK Associates Pathology Test Prices Costing ModelTM.

Would it be possible to produce a costing model for Radiology or healthcare departments other than Pathology?
   

Yes, RLK Associates have had contact from an interested party to develop a costing model for Radiology.  Once progress has been made this exciting NEW development will be advertised through this website so anyone interested will be kept informed. 

If you would like to work with RLK Associates to develop any costing model for your area please Contact Us.

Do you have costing model modules for Cytology and Immunology?
   

Yes, RLK Associates are currently working with Licensed Users to develop a Cytology and an Immunology module that are based on the current Histopathology and Virology modules.  Once completed they will be offered as new products as part of the complete package or as separate modules.

The introduction of two further modules is an exciting development and will take the number of Pathology modules to seven. 

RLK Associates also plan to offer the option of purchasing a mixture of different modules of the Pathology Test Prices Costing Model based on customer requirements.

Once the costing model has been loaded with data can it be easily changed?
   

Yes, the Pathology Test Prices Costing ModelTM has been designed as a real time costing model, capturing data and immediately adjusting test prices and performance indicators.  Every bit of data that is added, deleted or changed has an effect on the entire model.  The formulae have been carefully designed and put into the model to generate immediate changes without the user having to do anything. 


The benefit of the design is that once the model has been "completed" and test prices generated, the user does not need to start again the next financial year.  New data is simply written over old data at any time, in small or large amounts and can be opened, changed and saved at the user's convenience.


Many users operate the model as a tool that is regularly inspected, adjusted and used to provide performance indicators and it is never treated as a one-off project that is completed and put away.

 

How does the model stand up to inspection by auditors?

 

The Pathology Test Prices Costing ModelTM can be used to reconcile spend in many areas such as pay and non pay.  It is easy to extract information about spend on individual tests, types of kits and consumables, analysers and so on.  There is also the ability to analyse data to calculate possible waste and stock values.

 

Have people been able to use the model for providing price quotes?

 

Yes, the Pathology Test Prices Costing ModelTM calculates test prices and presents these in a worksheet allowing quotes to be rapidly and easily produced by multiplying test prices by workload information.  Formulae can be introduced in to the workbook that allows for step changes should this be applicable to a quote.

 

How much effort is involved in loading information into the model?

 

Most of the effort is at the start when data is loaded in to the workbook.  However, as soon as the user begins to load data into the model the formulae start calculating test prices and performance indicators.  The more data that is entered the more accurate the test prices and performance indicators become.  It is easy to stop and start using the model, saving it each time, and going back to it at any stage. 


The Pathology Test Prices Costing ModelTM has been pre-loaded with a lot of data although it will never be a complete set for any organisation due to the variance that exists.  However, the design of the workbook allows real data to be written over the pre-loaded data with little effort.  Examples are illustrated in the User Manuals that accompany the Pathology Test Prices Costing ModelTM.

 

Do you provide a service that includes producing these models for us?

 

Yes, RLK Associates have a number of specialists who are from the Pathology industry who can load the Pathology Test Prices Costing ModelTM for an organisation.  Naturally, the data that is entered into the workbook needs to be provided by the organisation and this can be done via email and in small chunks.  The workbook can be fully or partially populated according to the organisation's requirements.  One or more disciplines can be populated and the cost is around £400 per module.


All work is completely confidential and the finished costing model is handed over to the organisation or maintained by RLK Associates depending on the service required.


Anyone who is interested can receive a formal quote from RLK Associates. 

 

Do you offer training to use the costing model?

 

Yes, RLK Associates offer a training service charged at a daily rate.  However, many organisations purchase the entire Pathology Test Prices Costing ModelTM without the need for training because illustrated and comprehensive User Manuals are supplied with the product.

 

If I wanted to split the cost of staff between different departments can that be done?

 

Staff costs are entered in to the "Pay" worksheets.  If a proportion of a person (eg 0.8) works in one laboratory and the rest is in another then these calculations are easily entered into the workbooks. 


Several organisations have very complex staffing arrangements and although the model has been generated as a standard tool for analysing test prices and performance indicators it cannot be produced to include all of the various staffing combinations that exist.  However, RLK Associates will provide assistance to all users to adjust any of the pre-set formulae to accept variations in the costs of staff deployed between different laboratories.

 

What about an immunology model?

Specialist testing services are easily analysed using one of the modules currently available.  Either the virology or haematology module can be used to create a costing model for immunology.
 

Can labs compare eachothers test prices if they use this costing model?

Some organisations are already using the Pathology Test Prices Costing ModelTM to compare costs between different sites.  Now that a standard tool is available to the Pathology industry the ability to fairly compare different laboratories or organisations is possible enabling users to identify areas for improvement, discover tangible reasons for differences, note where savings can be made, explore what would happen should future skill mix be adjusted, identify the impact on costs when changes are introduced such as new technology, cheaper kits, managed services arrangements, and so on.  In fact, the different types and level of information users generate from the Pathology Test Prices Costing ModelTM increases every time another organisation purchases a licence to use the software.
Does the model identify savings?
 

Yes it does - once populated it is easy to start extracting evidence of where savings can be achieved.  RLK Associates offer a service for identifying savings from the Pathology Test Prices Costing ModelTM in close collaboration with the user.  Several projects have commenced whereby a surprisingly high level of savings can be achieved by making changes to current practise and by introducing new revenue opportunities.

 

Do you provide support and maintenance?

 

RLK Associates are willing to answer any questions from users.  If a user has specific requirements in terms of assistance then a more formal service agreement is available although the User Manuals are usually sufficient to provide detailed instructions on how to use each discipline specific module.

 

Can the model be used to show how efficiency changes such as if you make changes to staffing or workload increases / decreases?

 

Yes, the Pathology Test Prices Costing ModelTM can be adjusted and possible future changes can be made to the data to "see what would happen" if, for example, staff skill mix is altered, or a new piece of equipment is purchased, or a set of referred tests are brought back in house and so on.  Users can adjust data to look for more cost effective ways of providing services and explore the kinds of adjustments necessary to make their departments more productive.

 

Do you offer on site demonstrations of the model?

 

RLK Associates are able to demonstrate the Pathology Test Prices Costing ModelTM either on site or via a Webinar.  Links that enable Webinars sometimes get blocked by NHS firewalls and various products are currently being tested with some NHS sites to find a Webinar tool that is likely to be acceptable to as many NHS sites as possible.  The User Manuals are comprehensive so many organisations are content with these and do not want on site demonstrations.