“Money for Nothing”

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…..


One thought on ““Money for Nothing”

  1. Seems to me that getting rid of your Kirby Bauer sensitivity method will save you many, many minutes :-). I know you still like them, but just think of how long they take to set up and read! We only use them for backups. I was just on the urine bench for three evenings in a row and didn’t have to set up any, although we do use KB for ESBL confirmations (mostly for Proteus mirabilis). I did set up three of those this weekend. For a large-volume laboratory, going to automated sensitivity testing will free up LOTS of time! We probably get close to 200 urines a day easily (on two shifts – we read urine plates on two shifts and sign them out after a full 24 hour incubation).

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