A medical laboratory operations management, in essence, is a place where biological information from a sample or a scan is converted to readable information that can be interpreted by both humans and machines. This is the reason why monitor laboratory operations system, processing information and getting it into the report is the key. The faster, more accurate, and cheaper you do it the better the lab’s performance..
Delivering the reports
A Lab manager’s work involves the logistical challenge of delivering all the reports on time. The key KPI here is the TAT or Turn Around time. Usually, a manager would focus on delivering the current reports on the waiting list, while that is necessary to do so. At the same time it’s also important to see the historical data using TAT analytics. This helps in identifying bottlenecks in the process and places where your workflow in clinical laboratory can be improved.
Example: A CrelioHealth lab operation may feel that their reports are taking a lot of time because they do not have enough manpower or machines. But sometimes on analysis, it may be found that maximal time is spent after the reports are filled for report validation & approval. It may be wise to change the post-analytical process and maybe look into auto-approval of reports to save time.
Laboratory Workflow management Software
The other side of the coin is efficiency, where you want to deliver the reports as quickly as possible. It’s also important to keep operational costs low by optimizing the laboratory workflow management software.
The lab monitoring system may not be able to process all the samples and might need to outsource some samples, but outsourcing samples has its own challenges.
- Keeping track of outsourced samples
- Following up with the outsourced lab for the results
Having bidirectional outsourcing helps as this would automate data transfer. It also helps the outsourced workflow in laboratory as they would not need to re-register patients, making the chances of errors very low. Know more about outsourcing management here.
For samples that are done/drawn in-house, the key metric to track is rerun. It’s important to track re-runs from both compliance and operational perspective. If not monitored, sample re-runs can lead to a very high cost per test overall. The exception report will allow you to track report redos and sample re-draws.
The importance of automation cannot be emphasized more when machine interfacing saves time and effort allowing staff to scan samples, process samples, and transfer back the results for filling reports. This acts as the key not only to saving time but also to improving the accuracy and reliability of results. This also saves quite a lot of time for staff to do more meaningful work. Also be more productive to improve the quality of the lab’s operational outcomes.
If you have histopathology or cytology departments, the pre-processing of samples is usually an operational challenge. Which sometimes takes more time than the analytical phase. It’s essential to keep track of the sample statuses and to ensure compliance at various different stages. You can map out all the steps in the sample workflow and keep track of the various flows to make it easy for the staff to comply with the process of laboratory workflow management.
As a part of your supply chain, inventory management includes aspects such as controlling and overseeing purchases from suppliers— maintaining the storage of stock, and controlling the amount in use by your lab team (staff & administration).
The first step towards inventory management is having an organized approach and getting a good system that allows you to monitor data and analyze information.
You can leverage systems to get into place – ordering processes and ensuring the recording of information on inventory transfers and moreover on the consumption of inventory. This information would allow you to get a clear picture of the inventory in your organization. The above video can help understand one part of it.
Clear visibility on Inventory information helps you:
- Reduce costs
- Optimize fulfillment
- Maintain smooth operations
- Prevent loss from theft or spoilage
In a broader context, inventory management also provides insights into your financial standing, understanding trends and can help you determine the costs; so you can price better to your customers.
To improve lab operations management, you can enroll on CrelioHealth Academy.