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Case Study
  • Healthcare
  • Open Access

Stemming the Tide

One healthcare system drew from lean Six Sigma to reduce lab waste and save patients’ blood

Publication:
Lean & Six Sigma Review
Date:
May 2021
Issue:
Volume 20 Issue 3
Pages:
pp. 10-15
Author(s):
Castree, Katherine L.

Abstract

Getting lab work done is an important part of healthcare as many medical decisions are based on those results. Sometimes phlebotomists are tasked with drawing extra tubes of blood. A study was done in a hospital to determine how much time and money was saved by taking extra blood. This study uncovered a significant waste; 93% of vials were never tested. This equated to about $20,000 lost on supplies and 980 pints of blood that were never tested. Simple steps such as not requiring an extra vial of blood be drawn in a test, has reduced waste by as much as 83%.

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