Taking a minute from a procedure time in the laboratory might not sound like much. After all, what can one do in a minute? Hardly enough time to blow your nose. Is it really worth it?
However let’s say you are doing 70,000 of those procedures in a year e.g. a decent sized laboratory getting 200 urines in a day will process approximately this number of urines per annum.
Then the minutes start to add up…
70,000 minutes equals approximately 1150 hours, which equates to approximately 20 hours a week, which is approximately 0.5 FTE, more actually when you take annual leave etc into account.
Gaining processing efficiency in the lab often involves sitting down, looking at the high volume tests in detail, breaking down the procedure into its component parts and then asking yourself. “Is this the best we can do here?”
When dealing with high volume processes, even small changes; moving an incubator, removing a redundant media plate, automatically signing out negative results etc can make big differences.
Never be scared to suggest improvements, no matter how small they seem, it all adds up in the end. Not all the suggestions will work, but some will, and once you have made a few, they become easier to make…..