Efficient laboratory design.Achieving optimal operational efficiency in today's clinical/diagnostic laboratory is imperative for short- and long-term success in this competitive marketplace. Operational efficiency can be achieved, maintained, and improved upon with visionary leadership, good cash flow, taking advantage of progressive operational business models, and efficient laboratory design.
Many factors influence an efficient laboratory design, including the number and type of workstations; work flow; operational business models; automated instrumentation/robotics; and quality of life in the lab. Test volumes, FTEs, and beds served by the laboratory should still be evaluated during the planning process, but are no longer the critical issues that drive the design.
In order to successfully achieve these objectives and incorporate the important criteria that enhance operational efficiency, the creation of a flexible, adaptable, and expandable laboratory design approach is imperative.
Flexibility, adaptability, expandability
The most effective way to achieve maximum flexibility, adaptability, and expandability is the utilization of an open laboratory plan. An open plan will enhance staff utilization, communications, supervision, and the ability to share equipment/instrumentation. The lab environment will be further augmented with flexible casework case·work
Social work devoted to the needs of individual clients or cases.
casework . Flexible casework systems provide an economical and efficient method for easily modifying workstations and support areas. An open laboratory plan with casework that can be reconfigured as instrumentation and workload are improved greatly enhances the functionality of the laboratory environment. Designing flexibility into the laboratory engineering systems will also enhance operational efficiency. Design features that will maximize adaptability within the lab include layering, reserve riser space, and accommodations for future capacity. An open laboratory plan will also provide the resiliency The ability to recover from a failure. The term may be applied to hardware, software or data. required to create innovative ergonomic ergonomic - Concerning ergonomics or exhibitting good ergonimics. and operationally efficient workstations.
Simply stated, workstations are the specific places within the laboratory that are used to prepare, perform, or report test results. The number, size, instrumentation, location, and specific function of a workstation are the key design criteria Noun 1. design criteria - criteria that designers should meet in designing some system or device; "the job specifications summarized the design criteria"
criterion, standard - the ideal in terms of which something can be judged; "they live by the standards of their that must be thoroughly evaluated during the planning process. The workflow within the station must also be thoroughly analyzed an·a·lyze
tr.v. an·a·lyzed, an·a·lyz·ing, an·a·lyz·es
1. To examine methodically by separating into parts and studying their interrelations.
2. Chemistry To make a chemical analysis of.
3. down to the minute details, which include location of kneeholes, drawers, bench-top heights, and the location of floor-and bench-mounted instrumentation. Contingent upon Adj. 1. contingent upon - determined by conditions or circumstances that follow; "arms sales contingent on the approval of congress"
contingent on, dependant on, dependant upon, dependent on, dependent upon, depending on, contingent current and proposed test volumes, and after the selection of instrumentation that will occupy and support each station, these areas can be sized and preliminary projections of the overall laboratory space requirements can be developed on the anticipated number and types of stations. Quicker turnaround times (1) In batch processing, the time it takes to receive finished reports after submission of documents or files for processing. In an online environment, turnaround time is the same as response time. and greater volumes produced in less space, with fewer FTEs, can be accommodated with an efficient workstation configuration, location, and design. Proficient pro·fi·cient
Having or marked by an advanced degree of competence, as in an art, vocation, profession, or branch of learning.
An expert; an adept. workstations will also accommodate the various operational business models, including Lean and Six Sigma Not to be confused with Sigma 6.
Six Sigma is a set of practices originally developed by Motorola to systematically improve processes by eliminating defects. A defect is defined as nonconformity of a product or service to its specifications. .
Operational business models
Operational business models, including today's most talked about items--Lean and Six Sigma, can have a significant impact on operational capability and the design. For example, the implementation of the Lean-management approach will greatly impact the laboratory design. The elimination of waste within the design, combined with optimizing workflow, relationships, and adjacencies within the lab, can have a profound impact on operational competency COMPETENCY, evidence. The legal fitness or ability of a witness to be heard on the trial of a cause. This term is also applied to written or other evidence which may be legally given on such trial, as, depositions, letters, account-books, and the like.
2. . Having an even bigger impact on management organizational models is the introduction of automated instrumentation/robotics.
To maximize operational opportunities, it is mandatory to utilize automated instrumentation/robotics. The introduction of front-end processors front-end processor - (FEP) 1. A small computer necessary to enable an IBM mainframe using SNA to communicate beyond the limits of the dinosaur pen.
2. A small computer controlling the screen and keyboard of a Symbolics 3600 LISP Machine. and, ultimately, full robotic lines has organized processing, and impacted turnaround time for results. Initial investments in this technology are continually decreasing, allowing a significant percentage of the market to purchase this technology. No matter how high-tech a lab goes, a high-touch, more user-friendly environment is also critical for achieving and maintaining operational efficiency.
Quality of life
The creation of a better quality of life in the work environment is a high-priority item in today's marketplace. Staff recruitment, staff retention, marketing, public relations public relations, activities and policies used to create public interest in a person, idea, product, institution, or business establishment. By its nature, public relations is devoted to serving particular interests by presenting them to the public in the most , education, and the promotion of laboratory medicine to the customer base and the public at large are important strategic objectives. A high-tech/high-touch design philosophy should be pursued to achieve these objectives. Specific design considerations include the use of natural light within the laboratory environment, administrative, and support space. Bright colors, interior landscaping, and original artwork are all effective approaches to softening softening /sof·ten·ing/ (sof´en-ing) malacia.
a change of consistency, with loss of firmness or hardness. the physical environment. Sound control is also important, and the use of carpeting, acoustical tile tile, one of the ceramic products used in building, to which group brick and terra-cotta also belong. The term designates the finished baked clay—the material of a wide variety of units used in architecture and engineering, such as wall slabs or blocks, floor , and other noise-control features should be effectively utilized. Other amenities, including exercise/fitness areas, lockers, showers, lactation lactation
Production of milk by female mammals after giving birth. The milk is discharged by the mammary glands in the breasts. Hormones triggered by delivery of the placenta and by nursing stimulate milk production. suites, and other specialized support areas should be considered when planning the lab.
An efficient lab design based on optimal work flow, workstations, effective operational business models, the accommodation of automated instrumentation/robotics, and sensitivity to the quality of life within the lab environment will make your chances for success more obtainable. Customized laboratory design is good business. Such a design promotes and supports operational efficiency which, in turn, enhances productivity and, finally, a healthier bottom line for the laboratory.
Ron W. Garikes is executive vice president and COO of Karlsberger Laboratory & Technology Group located in Birmingham, AL, and he can be reached at email@example.com.