Article Text

PDF
Implementation of a ‘lean’ cytopathology service: towards routine same-day reporting
  1. Ekkehard Hewer,
  2. Caroline Hammer,
  3. Daniela Fricke-Vetsch,
  4. Cinzia Baumann,
  5. Aurel Perren,
  6. Anja M Schmitt
  1. Institute of Pathology, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ekkehard Hewer, Institute of Pathology, University of Bern, Murtenstrasse 31, 3010 Bern, Switzerland; ekkehard.hewer{at}pathology.unibe.ch

Abstract

Objectives To systematically assess the effects of a Lean management intervention in an academic cytopathology service.

Methods We monitored outcomes including specimen turnaround times during stepwise implementation of a lean cytopathology workflow for gynaecological and non-gynaecological cytology.

Results The intervention resulted in a major reduction of turnaround times for both gynaecological (3rd quartile 4.1 vs 2.3 working days) and non-gynaecological cytology (3rd quartile 1.9 vs. 1.2 working days). Introduction of fully electronic reporting had additional effect over continuous staining of slides alone. The rate of non-gynaecological specimens reported the same day increased from 4.5% to 56.5% of specimens received before noon.

Conclusions Lean management principles provide a useful framework for organization of a cytopathology workflow. Stepwise implementation beginning with a simplified gynaecological cytology workflow allowed involved staff to monitor the effects of individual changes and allowed for a smooth transition.

  • laboratory management
  • cytology
  • reports
View Full Text

Statistics from Altmetric.com

Footnotes

  • Handling editor Dhirendra Govender

  • Contributors EH, AP and AMS designed the study. EH, CH, DF-V, CB and AMS analysed the data. EH drafted the manuscript. All authors read and approved the manuscript.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

Request permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.