Benefits of Workflow Automation for Laboratory Management

Workflow automation adds efficiency and allows workers to focus on more critical tasks.
When laboratories focus on improving workflow optimization, the benefits become evident and emerge quickly.

The benefits are considerable and encompass the entire scope of the patient experience and lab operations. By optimizing workflows within a lab, healthcare quality improves and lab quality control is optimized.

Lab quality assurance with better workflows
Improving workflow has advantages at multiple levels. Optimizing the workflow allows colleagues to work closer as opposed to in siloed roles, ensures better accuracy of lab results, while reducing the costs of retesting, and helps to standardize systems and procedures throughout the organization.

Below is a closer look at five critical benefits of workflow optimization.

1. Siloes break down
A concerted, lab-wide focus on workplace optimization leads to siloes being deconstructed, allowing for a more coordinated approach. Workflow optimization also allows for siloes among labs, hospitals and physician practices to erode.

Consider the patient experience, beginning when a physician informs a patient of a lab order. Synergy among the doctor and the lab operations allows for better coordination, communication and comprehension among the core parties. This synergy leads to improved revenue generation, cost controls and improved capacity to treat patients.

2. Decision-making is standardized
With the proper laboratory information systems in place, lab quality control improves and decision-making becomes consistent throughout the enterprise. New systems include protocols that alert a technician if a testing component is at risk, allowing for remediation in the moment and streamlining decision-making.

With more rapid error detection, staff members gain confidence, the margin for human error decreases and the quality of results improves. Data management and analytics can track and measure work outcomes, performance, and calculate the costs of errors.

Automation reduces the risk of errors and increases patient safety.
3. Procedures are standardized across organizations
With interconnected systems, lab practices, providers and hospitals can standardize procedures and reduce the likelihood of errors and the cost of errors related to variability. Bar-coding, pickup and delivery coordination and identifying efficiencies result in faster result delivery and better patient outcomes.

4. Automation boosts employee efficiency
Economic constraints and staff shortages in many areas mean that human capital must be used to its utmost potential. Improving workplace procedures often includes automating certain procedures throughout the lab, freeing up staff from certain rote tasks such as re-ordering and other pre- and post-testing tasks. Lab personnel are freed up to complete other high-value work

5. Big Data and big dashboards
With hundreds or thousands of different specimens arriving daily from different facilities and requiring different tests, the data flowing through a lab is significant. Understanding the performance metrics that demonstrate lab efficiency and lab quality assurance require clear dashboards. Such tools can display, in real time, metrics such as turnaround time, equipment performance and technician time on sample analysis.

With ever-changing healthcare mandates and a need for efficiency, the importance of robust sample management and lab procedures is critical. With Freezerworks lab management systems, labs can track samples, configure annotations, issue billing data, and barcode samples. Freezerworks is a comprehensive solution for lab management in a dynamically evolving healthcare landscape. Click here to learn how Freezerworks can enhance your workflow automation.