Top labs are leveraging Lean Six Sigma to Boost Performance and Profits
Clinical laboratories and pathology groups using Lean Six Sigma methods are blowing right past the dismal economy and posting strong improvements in operations and financial performance. In fact, at their most innovative, these laboratories are developing new global “best practices” in how they use Lean and Six Sigma.
“Laboratory professionals will be surprised at how fast Lean Six Sigma methods are transforming three areas of the lab,” stated Susan Stegall, Managing Partner at Sprick, Stegall and Associates, a laboratory management consulting firm based in Charlotte, North Carolina. “We see signs that the most proficient of these laboratories are performing at a ‘best practices’ level.
“Probably the hottest area for Lean currently is anatomic pathology,” continued Stegall. “Advanced Lean practitioners are applying the concepts of work cells and single piece/small batch workflow to the flow of specimens into grossing and the histology laboratory, along with new workflow patterns to feed the finished work to the anatomic pathologists.
“A second area is microbiology,” she continued. “There is lots of action here because innovative clinical laboratories are blending new automated solutions with Lean methods. In combination, these approaches are contributing to higher-quality results, along with faster turnaround time and significantly lower costs.
The third area where some labs are hitting home runs with Lean Six Sigma is in billing and collections,” noted Stegall. “In the typical lab, current work practices are archaic and paper-based. Entire departments have evolved to correct defects passed downstream—100% waste! Lean methods contribute to swift and impressive speed-ups in productivity, along with raising the number of clean claims that directly lead to a higher rate of reimbursement—and that means more collected dollars for the clinical lab or pathology group.
“It’s an ‘aha’ moment for most lab managers when they first realize how much a Lean Six Sigma management philosophy can help eliminate waste and significantly reduce costs for their laboratory,” said Leslie Sprick, Managing Partner at Sprick, Stegall and Associates. “We consistently see significant improvement in productivity and profitability when our clients implement Lean into their laboratories.
“What makes Lean particularly effective in laboratory settings is that these methods can be applied to any task or activity where the lab adds value to a customer,” continued Sprick. “For example, we recently completed a consulting project where we helped the client laboratory’s human resource department apply Lean methods to cut the time needed to ‘on board’ a new employee from ten days down to 24 hours! The secret here is that needed forms or information to advance the hiring process often sit in someone’s in-box for several days before moving to the next step.”
Both Sprick and Stegall will share the hottest developments in how labs are benefiting from Lean Six Sigma at a special audio conference. “Achieving World-Class Performance: New Ways Your Lab Can Use Lean Six Sigma to Stop Bad Outcomes and Boost Financial Performance” will take place Thursday, December 17 at 1 p.m. EDT; 12 p.m. CDT; 11 a.m. MDT; 10 a.m. PDT. For more information visit http://darkdaily.com/audio-conferences/introducing-lean-six-sigma-into-your-lab-using-this-management-philosophy-to-eliminate-waste-and-increase-profits
Listen as these two experts on Lean Six Sigma take you inside the success stories of the nation’s top-performing clinical laboratories and pathology groups. For beginners, there will be a brief overview of Lean Six Sigma basics, including the benefits and disadvantages of each methodology. These concepts will be tied into actual lab case studies.
For intermediate and advanced Lean Six Sigma practitioners, Sprick and Stegall have detailed insights about proven techniques to unleash the power of these methods to produce higher quality, increase staff productivity, and significantly reduce costs in the clinical lab and pathology group. Real examples of laboratory Lean projects add spice and detailed understanding to advance your learning during this unique teaching session.
Register today to guarantee your “seat” for this very timely discussion. And don’t forget about our interactive question-and-answer session—it’s your opportunity to get answers to specific questions about your lab’s unique situation. Plus, you can have your entire team participate and listen with you. Learn how your lab could achieve twice as much work in half the time and with half the effort. Take the initiative and register now for “Achieving World-Class Performance: New Ways Your Lab Can Use Lean Six Sigma to Stop Bad Outcomes and Boost Financial Performance.”
DARK REPORT AUDIO CONFERENCE AT A GLANCE
DATE: Thursday, December 17, 2009
TIME: 1 p.m. EST; 12 p.m. CST; 11 a.m. MST; 10 a.m. PST
PLACE: Your telephone or speakerphone
COST: $195 per dial-in site (unlimited attendance per site) through 12/10/09; $245 thereafter
TO REGISTER: Click here or call 1-800-560-6363 toll-free
For one low price-just $195 (through 12/10/09; $245 thereafter)-you and your entire team can take part in this fast-paced, insightful audio conference. Best of all, you’ll be able to connect personally with our speaker when we open up the phone lines for live Q&A.