The Leading Edge Group “Lean Lab” is the application of Lean concepts specifically in the clinical, diagnostic and quality laboratories. Most importantly, Lean Lab is about understanding what is important to the customers of the process.
The Leading Edge Group has extensive laboratory experience including diagnostic testing; blood component processing; quality control processing etc.
Clients include: Irish Blood Transfusion Service, Ireland; EFS Etablissement Français du Sang, Marseille, Nantes, Rennes – France; Centro de Transfusión de Galicia, San Sebastian – Spain; National Blood Bank Service - Newcastle - UK; Blodbanken, Goteborg – Sweden; Claymon Laboratories – Ireland; Temple Street Hospital – Ireland; Galway University Hospital, Pharmacy – Ireland.
Lean Lab focuses on:
- Increasing quality, flexibility and timeliness in response to customer needs
- Promoting understanding of roles and responsibilities
- Maximizing staff responsibilities
- Developing internal continuous improvement capabilities
- Reducing or eliminating wasted motion, space, supplies and underutilized equipment
- Expanding capacity by reducing costs and shortening the cycle time
- Improving safety
- Creating a place for everything and everything in its place
Spaghetti Diagrams can be used to improve flow in laboratories
The Leading Edge Group approach to a Lean Lab consulting project is based on nurturing a team environment to solve the problem and to coach them to use the appropriate Lean Sigma tools to achieve the desired results. We generally recommend a 3 or 4 step approach depending on the specifics of the project and deliverables
1. Form / initiate a cross functional team:
a. Identify stakeholders
b. Define overall project goals, measures of success, approach, timelines
c. Deliver introductory training on methodology to be used
2. Define optimum facility layout based on ‘value stream mapping’ and ‘cellular flow’ of work
3. Use a range of approaches to identify ‘Lean’ ways of working which will optimum use of people’s time, talents and budgets
4. Use knowledge management & change management techniques to:
- Identify best practices from existing ways of working (Lean and non-Lean)
- Define and achieve buy-in & adoption of new ways of working
- Develop in-house capabilities for continuous improvement
- Our approach is proven and effective – it balances short-term wins with long-term foundations; achieves real, measurable, significant gains in a variety of areas; builds on success of initial events to establish understanding, enthusiasm, buy-in and delivers systematic transfer of knowledge both through formal training and learning by doing.
- Knowledge and Experience
5S can be used to improve laboratory layout