A Collaborative Approach to Lean Laboratory Workstation Design Reduces Wasted Technologist Travel

Lisa M. Yerian, Joseph A. Seestadt, Erron R. Gomez, Kandice K. Marchant
2012 American Journal of Clinical Pathology  
A b s t r a c t Lean methodologies have been applied in many industries to reduce waste. We applied Lean techniques to redesign laboratory workstations with the aim of reducing the number of times employees must leave their workstations to complete their tasks. At baseline in 68 workflows (aggregates or sequence of process steps) studied, 251 (38%) of 664 tasks required workers to walk away from their workstations. After analysis and redesign, only 59 (9%) of the 664 tasks required
more » ... quired technologists to leave their workstations to complete these tasks. On average, 3.4 travel events were removed for each workstation. Time studies in a single laboratory section demonstrated that workers spend 8 to 70 seconds in travel each time they step away from the workstation. The redesigned workstations will allow employees to spend less time travelling around the laboratory. Additional benefits include employee training in waste identification, improved overall laboratory layout, and identification of other process improvement opportunities in our laboratory.
doi:10.1309/ajcpe0pi2enwywmu pmid:22904140 fatcat:vhu2esk4effqjfgariovxq5q5y