Application of Lean Principles To Improve Turn Around Time in Gynecologic Cytology Laboratory.
Rebecca J Wong, Malini Harigopal, Kevin Schofield, David Chhieng, Angelique Levi. Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
Background: Our cytology laboratory, like many others, is under pressure to improve quality and provide test results faster while decreasing costs. We sought to address these issues by applying Lean principles and methodologies. The objective is to determine the impact of Lean principles on the turn around time (TAT) and productivity of the gynecologic cytology operation.
Design: We established a baseline measure of the TAT of Pap tests. We then compared this to performance 6 month after implementing the location guided imaging system and Lean methodologies. The latter included workstation and equipment relocation, redesign of workflow, and visual control.
Results: The average TAT for Pap tests before and after the implementation of new imaging system and Lean principles were 5.98 ± 0.93 days and 2.60 ± 0.38 days, respectively. The improvement in the average TAT was statistically significant (t-test p < 0.001). In addition, there was also significant reduction in the variability as evidenced by the reduction in the standard deviation (F-test, p < 0.001).
In addition, the productivity of staff was improved by 17%, i.e. the same volume of Pap tests were handled by 2 fewer full-time cytotechnologists who voluntarily resigned.
Conclusions: Implementation of Lean principles in cytology laboratory resulted in shortened and more consistent TAT for Pap tests while improving productivity at the same time.
Category: Quality Assurance
Monday, February 28, 2011 1:00 PM
Poster Session II # 212, Monday Afternoon