Silvester K. Learning with the Labs. Journal of Improvement Science 2015: 22; 1-30.
From 2009 to 2012, The Health Foundation sponsored the Improving Patient Flow programme to address the relationship between poor patient flow and outcomes.
Blood tests are key to diagnosing and monitoring patients. Addressing the delay to diagnosis improves patient safety and healthcare system productivity because it reduces the resources wasted storing patients in expensive hospital beds while they wait. Addressing these delays requires reducing the time it takes to get blood samples to the laboratory before reducing the lead-times through the laboratory.
The lead-times for chemistry tests for patients in hospital were reduced from 01:58 to 01:29 on average, and this was shown to be statistically significant and sustained using process behaviour charts. There was no significant change to the lead-times for specimens received from Out-Patients and General Practice.
This paper reviews the learning gained from the Lean A3 scientific problem solving process used at the time with process design skills acquired later from the FISH (Foundations of Improvement Science in Healthcare) and ISP (Improvement Science Practitioner) courses.
A3; Healthcare; Improvement; Lean Thinking; Pathology; Process; Science; System Behaviour Chart (SBC); Team
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