Centre for Operations Excellence Improving Turnaround by hdq21054


									Centre for Operations Excellence
Improving Turnaround Time in Anatomic Pathology Laboratory

Vancouver Coastal Health Authority
Vancouver Coastal Health Authority (VCHA) is responsible for delivering and
managing quality health care services to people living in British Columbia’s Lower
Mainland. Within the Lower Mainland there are nine different anatomic pathology
(AP) laboratories where tissue samples are analyzed and diagnosed.

Business Challenge
The main concern identified by VCHA was reducing turnaround time for tissue
samples entering the AP labs. Turnaround time is defined as the number of days
elapsed between the receipt of a patient case into the laboratory to when the case
is signed off as complete. While improving operational efficiency was the primary
goal of the project, the quality of specimen handling and processing had to be
maintained. Areas of review for the project included process flow, resource
scheduling, equipment utilization and an analysis of the physical layout of the

Value Delivered
The COE delivered the following to the client:
1.   A detailed process map of the operation within the Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) AP laboratory that helps the
     management and staff understand the process better
2.   Extensive data analysis about current input and output rates as well as performance metrics of the AP laboratory
3.   Recommendations about other necessary data to collect and performance metrics to monitor in the future
4.   Recommendations about ways to reduce turnaround time within the AP laboratory
5.   A simulation model that can be used for further scenario analysis and resource and equipment utilization planning
6.   Recommendations about ways to improve the physical layout of the VGH AP laboratory

                                                                     The COE Approach
                                                                     Step 1: On-site Observations and Process
                                                                     The COE team visited four AP labs within VCHA
                                                                     and interviewed various personnel from different
                                                                     work groups. This information helped to create
                                                                     detailed process maps of the entire VGH AP
                                                                     laboratory as a base for a simulation model.
                                                                     Step 2: Model Building and Scenario Analysis
                                                                     A model simulating the AP lab operation was
                                                                     developed.      Several   what-if   scenarios   were
                                                                     investigated to determine what policies could
improve the performance of the system. The layout of the lab was also investigated through heuristic algorithms and
several improved layouts were suggested.

        Centre for Operations Excellence              209-2053 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2
                  Tel: 604-822-1800              Email: info@coe.ubc.ca           www.coe.ubc.ca

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