Laboratories perform key analyses and are critical in medical, chemical, and other industries. Lean and Six Sigma methodologies aid in laboratory management. We’ll look at two applications from Turkey and the USA, and an article on the benefits of Lean and Lean Six Sigma in the clinical laboratory. We’ll finish with a video tour of Quest Diagnostics Tucker, Georgia laboratory.


Lean Six Sigma Applied in a Clinical Laboratory Setting: Turkey


In a study titled “Lean six sigma methodologies improve clinical laboratory efficiency and reduce turnaround times,” authors Tamer C. Inal and others discuss the application of Lean Six Sigma for process improvement in a hospital's central laboratory.

The study was a longitudinal, before–after analysis of process improvements in the central laboratory of a Turkish teaching university hospital. It simplified laboratory work processes and decreased turnaround times.

The study includes:

  • Routine Tube Count by Arrival Time
  • Correctly and Incorrectly Labeled Tubes
  • Workflow in Reception Area: Value and Non-value Added Steps
  • Turnaround Times Before and After Intervention
You can read the study here.


Using Lean and Six Sigma to Improve Laboratory Operations: USA - Georgia


In a presentation titled “Using Six Sigma and Lean Principles to Improve Laboratory Operations,” Patricia Macholan, Executive Director, Technical Lab Operations Excellence, discusses the use of Six Sigma and Lean in improving laboratory operations in Quest Diagnostics’ Atlanta Lab.

[Note: Some slides have hard-to-read images.]

The presentation includes:

  • Project Charter: SIPOC and Project Scope
  • Measure: Metrics
  • Logistic Arrivals Profile
  • Product Family Matrix and Associated Questions
  • Current State Value Stream Maps
  • Current State Floor Plan
  • Current State Spaghetti Diagram
  • Integration of Lean Objectives
  • Future State Focus on Non-value Activities
  • Project Prioritization Matrix
  • Framework for Detailed Design
  • Other Elements – Analyze/Improve/Control
  • Lessons Learned
You can access the presentation here.


Lean and Lean Six Sigma in the Clinical Laboratory


In an article from Medical Laboratory Observer titled “Lean, Lean Six Sigma, and the clinical laboratory,” author Lynn Hamilton discusses the application and the benefits of  Lean and Lean Six Sigma in the clinical laboratory.

You can read the article here.


Video Tour of Quest Diagnostics Tucker, Georgia Laboratory


You can watch the video here.


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