Efficiency is crucial in every type of laboratory, from clinical to veterinary pathology. Despite introducing strict processes, it is essential to maintain high productivity levels and embrace emerging technologies to improve accuracy and output.
As there are many tasks to complete in a lab, you might find it difficult to improve internal efficiency each day.
However, a few changes to your operations and processes could transform your lab without sacrificing your employees’ time or compromising safety and accuracy. Read this helpful guide to improving lab efficiency.
Refine Each Process
Every process should follow an identical structure to develop accurate, consistent results in an efficient manner.
If you have yet to do so, you must outline strict Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for your researchers or technicians to follow when embarking on a task.
Standardized processes will improve results accuracy and reliability while supporting internal safety and productivity.
Standard Operating Procedures will also make it much easier to train new employees. Plus, specific steps will make lab technicians feel more prepared and confident when managing samples, and they can identify and document potential abnormalities at a faster rate.
Introduce a Laboratory Information System
A Laboratory Information System (LIS) is a must-have in most laboratory settings, as it will help technicians manage the integrity and quality of test samples. Plus, they can control all aspects of the analytical phase and improve finalized results reporting.
A forward-thinking system can even feature lab specific EMRs to support clinician access and billing modules.
Of course, LIS shouldn’t be confused with LIMS, a software system that supports laboratory research operations. Read LIS vs LIMS to learn about the similarities and differences of the systems.
Promote Organization and Cleanliness
Organization and cleanliness are imperative in every lab setting. For this reason, you must promote the importance of technicians maintaining a clean, tidy, and organized workstation.
Also, you must ensure they can access the materials and tools they will need to complete each task with ease.
Similar to standardizing lab procedures, you must introduce strict workstation standards for all technicians to follow each day to support reliability, safety, and accuracy.
Introduce Automation Systems
Modern laboratories can take their pick from various automation technologies, which can power their operations, prevent human error, and maintain accuracy.
For example, you can introduce automated pipetting robots to complete routine pipetting jobs, which will prevent mistakes and enable your team to focus on more important tasks.
However, before introducing an advanced automation tool like robotic processing, you must identify if it will provide your lab with more value, as it may increase processing times.
Weigh up the pros and cons against the price of the method to discover if it will provide your lab with greater efficiency and a return on its investment.
Regularly Adjust Your Strategy
Maximize efficiency in your lab by monitoring workflow and productivity each day. Even if you have introduced effective changes, you must look for opportunities to improve efficiency and accuracy.
Observing workflow, monitoring performances, and looking for opportunities will allow your lab to execute a successful strategy each day.
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