Case Study

Brigham and Women's Hospital: Lean tools in the clinical laboratory

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By optimizing lab workflow with Lean tools prior to implementing automation solutions, Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston significantly reduced phlebotomy wait times and lab processing cycle times, while increasing patient satisfaction and staff accountability.

Laboratory performance is critical to the quality and efficiency of hospital operations. As specimen volumes increased, the lab at Brigham and Women's was experiencing processing bottlenecks and technician retention issues.

Employing Lean skills to perform five rapid-improvement events over the next six months, the team decreased average wait times for outpatient phlebotomy from 17 to five minutes and ramped up specimen processing to achieve desired cycle times 90 percent of the time. Plus, the staff gained new capabilities and knowledge to address future process improvement issues.

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  • Juanita Prescod September 20, 2010 3:19 PM

    Interested in hearing about the Lean process