Blame it on shrinking hospital budgets and reduced lab testing prices; successful labs are using Lean, Six Sigma, and process improvement to reduce expenses and boost quality
Topic number one at clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups across the nation is cost-cutting, for two reasons. First, it is budget time at hospitals and labs are being told to aggressively reduce their costs in 2015. Second, health insurers are paying less for medical lab testing.
Simply said, labs are experiencing one of the toughest financial squeezes in two decades. Dark Daily has written about the underlying trends responsible for this financial pressure. Nationally, hospital inpatient admissions are down at the same time that hospitals are being paid less per inpatient. In response, hospitals are asking all clinical departments—including their clinical laboratories—to prune staff and cut budgets for 2015. (more…)
Sharing Lessons in How Medical Labs Can Achieve “Best Practices” When Implementing Lean
One major trend in laboratory medicine still gathering momentum is the use of Lean and similar process improvement methods by clinical laboratories and pathology groups cross the nation. However, once a medical laboratory has enjoyed substantial gains from initial Lean projects, it can be challenging to sustain the Lean mindset with staff and further build upon those gains.
“Sustaining Lean thinking in your laboratory turns out to be rather simple, if you will follow several proven steps,” stated Patrick Maul, MBA, MT (ASCP). Maul is a Principal Consultant at BD Diagnostics and one of the nation’s earliest practitioners of Lean and Six Sigma in medical laboratories.
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.
Both Stegall and Sprick will share the hottest developments in how labs are benefiting from Lean 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.
Guest Commentary by: Mark Graban
Clinical laboratory professionals and leaders should be reminded that their accountability for quality and patient safety does not end at the instrument or the microscope—at least from the general public’s perception and the needs of patients.
This summer, I was walking through Boston Common and saw a woman with a homemade sign with a message about patient safety. I stopped and asked about her sign. She reminded me it was July 25, the annual observance of National Patient Safety Day.
Lab Quality Confab 2009!!
September 29-30 2009 – Atlanta Hilton Hotel!
See Full Agenda Here
This exciting program, feature presentations by top-performing laboratories, hospitals, and pathology groups on their successes with Lean, Six Sigma, and Rapid Process Improvement techniques. Themes this year include breakthroughs in blending Lean with automation in the high-volume core chemistry/hematology laboratory, using middleware to drive real-time decision-making, innovation in the use of histology automation with Lean methods, along with more success stories of quality systems in blood banking, microbiology, and informatics. Plus a variety of presentations on coming changes in laboratory accreditation and licensure that will incorporate quality systems, including ISO:15189 Medical Laboratories.