Automated Transport and Sorting System in a Large Reference LaboratoryPart 2

Automated Transport and Sorting System in a Large Reference LaboratoryPart 2

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Automated Transport and Sorting System in a Large Reference Laboratory: Part 2. Implementation of the System and Performance Measures over Three Years Charles D. Hawker, 1,2* William L. Roberts, 1,2 Susan B. Garr, 1 Leslie T. Hamilton, 1 John R. Penrose, 1 Edward R. Ashwood, 1,2 and Ronald L. Weiss 1,2 Background: Our laboratory implemented a major au- tomation system in November 1998. A related report describes a 4-year process of evaluation and planning leading to system installation. This report describes the implementation and performance results over 3 years since the system was placed into use. Methods: Project management software was used to track the project. Turnaround times of our top 500 tests before and after automation were measured. We com- pared the rate of hiring of employees and the billed unit per employee ratio before and after automation by use of linear regression analysis. Finally, we analyzed the financial contribution of the project through an analysis of return on investment. Results: Since implementation, the volume of work transported and sorted has grown to > 15 000 new tubes and > 25 000 total tubes per day. Median turnaround time has decreased by an estimated 7 h, and turnaround time at the 95th percentile has decreased by 12 h. Lost specimens have decreased by 58%. A comparison of pre- and post-implementation hiring rates of employees es- timated a savings of 33.6 employees, whereas a similar comparison of ratios of billed units per employee esti- mated a savings of 49.1 employees. Using the higher figure, we estimated that the $4.02 million cost of the project would be paid off ; 4.9 years subsequent to placing the system into daily use. Conclusions: The overall automation project imple- mented in our laboratory has contributed considerably to improvement of key performance measures and has met our original project objectives. © 2002 American Association for Clinical Chemistry In a report appearing in this issue we described our experience in the evaluation and design of an automation system that would meet the needs of our high-volume, esoteric, reference laboratory (1) . This plan had several components. These included the formation of an auto- mated core laboratory performing higher volume tests on random access analyzers; introduction of a standardized transport tube; development of a new computer software system, Expert Specimen Processing (ESP), 3 for accession- ing of incoming orders; extensive facility renovations; reengineering of many processes to eliminate multiple handling steps and bottlenecks; and implementation of an automated transport and sorting system. This report describes the implementation of these dif- ferent elements of our automation initiative and espe- cially the automated transport and sorting system, which was placed into daily use in November 1998. We describe the impact of these elements on improvement of turn- around time (TAT), quality of service, and productivity as well as descriptive information about our experience in
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

Page1 / 7

Automated Transport and Sorting System in a Large Reference LaboratoryPart 2

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online