There is a sort of stagnation that takes place in many different companies in a variety of industries. It is almost always a case of them continuing to do things a certain way because that is how they’ve always been done. This leads to inefficiency and a lot of wasted resources. Medical labs are not immune to this type of scenario.
Many need to update their systems and processes to be more efficient. It is especially important in this age of rising prices on raw materials and the general cost of doing business. Finding ways to save money by improving efficiency should be at the top of the list of any laboratory manager. In this article, we will go over several ways that you can improve your lab’s efficiency.
1 – Use the right software
Every industry has a particular kind of software that is engineered for the specific functions needed. All of them have efficiency in mind since it allows you to automate a lot of processes or give easy access to the users for things like reports or data analysis.
Medical laboratories have a number of different software applications that can streamline the processes you face and make things far more efficient. For instance, SciNote – lab inventory management software, is a software house that makes the type of programs that are extremely useful for laboratories such as Electronic Lab Notebooks.
Managing and tracking inventory is a great way to get more efficient as it makes sure you are not wasting resources. Tracking is essential in any laboratory and having a software application that puts many different aspects of the process in one place is important. This type of software is also great at allowing for seamless collaboration. Different teams can all access the relevant information they need all in one place.
There are many other types of applications that are out there for your particular type of laboratory. Take some time to do an audit to understand what your needs are so you can then research the types of software that will suit those needs.
2 – Upgrade your equipment
Outdated equipment in a laboratory is often the cause of many bottlenecks. They tend to slow everything down and that has a domino effect on many other processes that are needed to be done efficiently in your laboratory.
For example, if you have old equipment that takes a long time to start up and become operational then this is time wasted. Even if it is only 10 minutes this can add up over the course of the day and cost you hours of downtime.
You can also expect poor results from old equipment which can also slow down your processes and make the entire operation inefficient. When you upgrade your equipment, you will get better results and save time. This increase in efficiency will end up having the new equipment pay for itself over time.
3 – Keep staff trained
All too often, the staff is trained when they are hired and that is where the training and education stops. It’s usually not a problem since many people are constantly learning on the job. When you hire good employees they are the ones that are able to be self-starters and adapt to real-life situations.
The problem is that the environment in a lab setting is always changing. Expecting people to be able to adapt immediately is not realistic. It can take time and some of the staff may not react quickly enough to the new realities and what is expected of them.
This is why continual training is very important. It is a great way to update people on new procedures and processes so they can quickly get up to speed. This makes things much more efficient and with fewer poor results that come from people not all being on the same page.
4 – Encourage collaboration
Over time, the different teams in a laboratory end up siloing themselves off and becoming a unit unto themselves. Once this happens, it is difficult to then communicate and collaborate between the teams. It then becomes a challenge to streamline many processes that require the collaboration of different aspects of the job.
It is important to have a system that discourages siloing and encourages team synchronizing. This will allow for a seamless way of achieving the same goals.
Efficiency is something that can’t be taken for granted. It is something to be constantly worked on and new ways to achieve it need to be sought out.
The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.