News, Analysis, Trends, Management Innovations for
Clinical Laboratories and Pathology Groups

Hosted by Robert Michel

News, Analysis, Trends, Management Innovations for
Clinical Laboratories and Pathology Groups

Hosted by Robert Michel
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Reducing Manual Steps, Improving Turnaround Times, and Creating a Lean Laboratory Environment: ISD Testing on the Dimension® Integrated Chemistry Systems

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The challenges facing the clinical laboratory environment in the past 10 years are well documented, and include significant medical technologist vacancy rates, increased competition, and a significant number of opportunities to inadvertently make testing errors.   With such macroeconomic challenges, the industry has used a variety of methods to identify ways to increase productivity, decrease costs, and in general, become more efficient at generating test results.

A cornerstone of “Lean Thinking” involves the elimination of waste, including the identification and removal of inefficient processes or tasks. In the laboratory, if manual processing steps can be eliminated without sacrificing quality, then there will be less manual manipulation of tubes, fewer opportunities for errors, and a better overall turnaround time for reporting results.

In addition to the removal of waste, Lean also provides a benefit in terms of workload leveling. As anyone who has worked in a laboratory knows, problems meeting turnaround time goals and maintaining efficient specimen processing occur whenever a surge of work arrives into the laboratory. Workload leveling is simply the practice of handling work in small, consistent batches which will encourage standardization and therefore reduce variation and errors. The most successful Lean projects address the issue of workload leveling and standardization along with waste removal.

In vitro diagnostic (IVD) equipment manufacturers are complementing these Lean efforts by providing analyzers and testing solutions to help eliminate wasteful process steps, standardize the laboratory workload, and focus on improved turnaround times.  Instruments with improved ergonomics, reagents with visual and color coded designators, and technology that encourages “continuous operational flow” are all features that have become mainstream in IVD product development circles.

Here is just some of what you will take away…

  • How to adopt Lean quality management methods designed to increase productivity and efficiency.
  • How to identify inefficient processes or tasks.
  • How to create a Lean environment for ISD monitoring in the routine laboratory setting.
  • and much much more!

Table of Contents

  • Disclosure
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1. Study Area
  • Chapter 2. Background
  • Chapter 3. Study Methodology
  • Chapter 4. Results
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • Appendices
    A-1 About Tim Baker
    A-2 About Nexus Global Solutions
    A-3 About Karen Appold
    A-4 About DARK Daily
    A-5 About The Dark Intelligence Group, Inc., and THE DARK REPORT
    A-6 About the Executive War College on Laboratory and Pathology Management
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