Laboratory logistics

In collaboration with the Erasmus MC, Amsterdam UMC and Roche Diagnostics, process optimization in clinical chemistry laboratories is researched. The focus of this project is to assess the operations from arrival of the sample in the laboratory to first results. Different laboratory configurations are investigated in order to reduce diagnostics turnaround time and improve the laboratory performance.

This project funds our PhD student Eline Tsai. It started in 2017.

In this operations research investigation, we will examine the process from blood withdrawal to first results in the routine 24/4 clinical chemistry laboratory. With the acquired knowledge, we aim to improve the routine 24/7 clinical chemistry process. This investigation has the following aims:

  1. To investigate the current characteristics of the process from blood withdrawal to first results in the LIS in the clinical chemistry laboratory. To this aim we will compare routine chemistry (Roche, Cobas 8000/8100/Modular MPA/P512/P612) and hematology (Sysmex XN-9000) processes between the three participating academical centers (Erasmus MC – AMC – VUmc). These academic sites all have the same equipment but different configurations. By comparing the configurations at the different sites and taking into account the case-mix we would like to learn the basic performance characteristics of different configurations.
  2. With the acquired information (a), we will experiment with different configurations such as a completely integrated hematology-chemistry workflow using mathematical modeling. This can be extended to routine hemostasis.
  3. To investigate differences in prioritized (STAT) vs. non-prioritized (non-STAT) sample logistics by the three different configurations. What is the effect on waiting time for non-prioritized samples? Should STAT samples be dealt with in a separate process or is one single process for prioritized and non-prioritized samples faster.
  4. To investigate which KPIs have the greatest impact on the performance/outcome of the process or show the greatest variability and hence, should be monitored. The aim is to assemble a critical set of KPIs that should be monitored by the middle-ware (dashboard; see ISO 15189).
  5. To investigate the functionality of a front-service where blood samples are gathered and preanalyses steps are performed. All three participating centers are consolidating front-service activities for clinical chemistry, pathology, medical immunology and infectious disease laboratories. Which workflow generates the best and fastest results?