Thursday, April 28, 2005

Reduce Pre-Analytic Errors at Hospital: A Joint Six Sigma Project with Quest Diagnostics and a Hospital Customer

John Bower, Quest Diagnostics-Philadelphia, 900 Business Center Drive, Horsham, PA, USA

Unacceptable specimens were being submitted to the laboratory by a major Hospital client that in turn impacted results turn around time.

What was the main cause of 2.2% of samples submitted by the client being rejected as inappropriate.


Design: Six Sigma DMAIIC process using tools such as; Process Mapping, Failure Mode Effects Analysis (FMEA), Root Cause Analysis
Setting: Clinic offices located within large pediatric metropolitan hospital
Participants: Clinic process experts, Medical Assistants, LPNs, Phlebotomist, Hospital Lab Control, Six Sigma Black Belt
Interventions: Installation and training on Quest Diagnostics customer connectivity system (Care360), Installation process and workflow analysis
Main outcome measures: Weekly monitoring of “Test Not Performed” (TNP) excluding titers

50% reduction (1.1%) in Tests Not Performed saving time for both the clinics and the laboratory while improving care to the patient.

Converting a client from a manual system to an electronic system was key to clarifying testing requirements and reducing “Tests Not Performed”. However, the bigger challenge was obtaining buy-in to assure continued use of the system. This can be accomplished by; making sure the system fits the client's workflow, getting input on their needs, and working with them to remove internal roadblocks.

See more of Poster Session
See more of The 2005 Institute for Quality in Laboratory Medicine Conference