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Am J Clin Pathol. 2009 Dec;132(6):914-9. doi: 10.1309/AJCP7FIKZVVTFTXQ.

Applying Lean/Toyota production system principles to improve phlebotomy patient satisfaction and workflow.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Clinical Laboratories Division, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Our goals were to improve the overall patient experience and optimize the blood collection process in outpatient phlebotomy using Lean principles. Elimination of non-value-added steps and modifications to operational processes resulted in increased capacity to handle workload during peak times without adding staff. The result was a reduction of average patient wait time from 21 to 5 minutes, with the goal of drawing blood samples within 10 minutes of arrival at the phlebotomy station met for 90% of patients. In addition, patient satisfaction increased noticeably as assessed by a 5-question survey. The results have been sustained for 10 months with staff continuing to make process improvements.

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