5 Ways to Improve Your Lab’s Turn Around Time Today
Ideas to improve the efficiency of your laboratory reports resulting in happier patients and increased revenues.
Independent labs have made a name and created a brand for themselves. Pathology is no longer a subset in a hospital. It is a huge operation by itself generating significant revenue thanks to the increasing health awareness amongst the general population on the importance of routine health checks. From the smallest to large sophisticated centers, pathologies all across the country are playing a significant role in patient care decisions as well as the commercial dynamics.
The key to a cured and safe patient is medical decision at the right time and that today entirely depends on the test reports reaching the physician at the earliest. The writing on the wall is clear and loud – Pathologies with higher volume, higher efficiency and fastest report delivery will earn the most. Not just money but also a trusting patient base. Which again translates into money, obviously. Every pathologist out there will manage the volume and efficiency but what makes all the difference is the fastest report delivery – the Turn Around Time (TAT). This factor is and will have unimaginable impact on the way healthcare dynamics work.
We bring you 5 ideas to improve TAT and get the competitive edge on your side:
1.Central Work Bench
The working area in the pathology can have a central workbench dedicated to samples storage. Also, the vacutainers containing samples can be color-coded to identify whether it is a single test sample or a shared one. Both these changes will help in reducing time wastage in searching for shared samples, which in turn will lead to efficient use of manpower thereby speeding up the whole process and affecting TAT positively. Further, having a central automation system for your entire lab, can dramatically improve the TAT.
2. Pre-analytical Check Point
A single but extremely efficient pre-analytical check point can be set up and made part of the SOP to be followed before the actual pathological test. This will hugely help in avoiding wrong test results due to human errors as well as help in reducing the time wasted on wrong samples.
3. Auto Validation
The list of tests that can be auto validated by virtue of the fact that they have been performed on well-calibrated automated instruments should be on the higher side. More and more tests should be added to this list time and again. Auto-authorization helps reduce dependency on a single pathologist or a team of pathologists to validate each and every test performed on the pathology thus increasing the time efficiency in reporting the test results.
4. Multitasking Training for Staff
If TAT has to be maintained, managing manpower shortages from time to time needs to be tackled smartly. Training majority of the staff to perform tests of different sections in the pathology would help reduce the overtime costs for the hospital as well as cover up for the manpower shortage efficiently.
5. Pneumatic Tube System for Sample Transportation
You cannot test a sample without getting a sample. The key factor in pathology TAT is the time spent in transportation of samples from the patient’s bedside to the pathology. Use of Pneumatic tube systems for sample transportation will ensure safe and quick transportation of the samples. The faster the samples reach the technician the quicker will be the turnaround time.
There have been instances where the treating consultants would prefer to get tests done from a pathology not related to the hospital simply because the reports are a mere 15 minutes quicker. But 15 minutes with respect to human health can be critical for the patient outcomes.
Always remember higher volume, higher efficiency and fastest report delivery. Result delivery is important but timing is paramount especially when it comes to healthcare. So improve your TAT to improve your revenues.
Taking all these measures can be quite simple when your lab is automated. Automating your lab at the end of the day streamlines operations, removes inefficiencies and improves the TAT significantly. To know more, click here.