Team-Tested Practices

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Aligning the work to staffing start times helped this team improve productivity.

Lab Team Pokes at Processes and Gets Results

When the histology team at Airport Way Lab in Portland, Oregon, began receiving complaints about long wait times for results, they took a deeper look at their workflow. By documenting and tracking the time needed for each step, they discovered a glitch: processing times were not lining up with staff schedules, creating a bottleneck in the workflow. By adjusting schedules to ensure ample staffing at key times, they found sweet success. Wait times for lab results fell by 56%, from 395 minutes to 220 minutes.

Here's What Worked

  • Documenting and tracking the time to complete each step in the process  
  • Identifying workflow bottlenecks
  • Reviewing staffing and tweaking schedules

What can your team do to examine and improve your workflow? How do you think that would affect care and service for our member and patients?

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