To properly diagnose and treat patients, doctors need lab results in hand when they do rounds. But the laboratory team at Anaheim Medical Center was lax with timely blood draw results, so the team had lab assistants pick up blood draws at 6 a.m., and continuing with drop-offs at half-hour intervals. They shifted clinical lab scientists from other departments to process blood in the morning and moved their start times to 6 a.m. on weekends. Having blood results ready by 9 a.m. improved by 73 percentage points in six months.
Here's What Worked
- Having lab assistants, not runners, pick up blood samples at 6 a.m. and drop off specimens every half-hour
- Using clinical lab scientists from other departments to help process blood in the morning
- Moving weekend shifts for clinical lab scientists to 6 a.m. instead of 9 a.m.
What can your team do to shift its workflow for the benefit of patients?