The main role of clinical laboratory diagnostics is to obtain reliable, reproducible and timely results that help to make the right clinical decisions. As the literature review shows, there are a number of common problems for many clinical laboratories, such as: long turnaround times, high laboratory costs for consumables, insufficient level of satisfaction with quality of services received by patients and high number of complaints. The use of lean manufacturing can be one way of solving these problems.
Purpose of the study is to summarize and analyze the literature regarding the application of lean manufacturing in clinical laboratories.
Materials and methods. A literature review was performed using the following abstract databases: Web of Science, Scopus, PubMed, ScienceDirect, Mendeley, and NCBI. The depth of the search according to the time parameter had no limitations. The following keywords were used as search markers: “lean management”, “lean thinking”, “lean six sigma”, “lean tools”, “healthcare”, “health services”, “clinical laboratory”. More than 100 publications were analyzed, from which 28 most representative studies were selected.
Results. The implementation of lean production methods provides a reduction in turnaround time, costs and errors in the clinical laboratory, reduces the contamination of biological material at the preanalytical stage and reduces waiting time for services and, as a consequence, reduces the number of patient complaints.
Conclusion. The above results indicate that lean production methods can be used in laboratories to solve frequently occurring problems and demonstrate the effectiveness of their application in clinical laboratories.
Management in healthcare