Product News: Siemens Hosts Interactive Forum to Assist Laboratories in Creating Lean Efficiencies

25 Apr 2014

The meeting and related seminars aimed to help ensure that both NHS and private labs are prepared for the reality of increasing test volumes.

A Process Management Meeting was recently hosted by Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics, bringing together a range of Laboratory Managers, Biomedical Scientists and Clinical Scientists to discuss the current issues facing laboratories. The two-day forum, held at one of the world’s most sustainable buildings, The Crystal in London, included seminars delivered by a peer panel of pathology managers and thought leaders from across NW Europe, in addition to business and process optimisation experts from Siemens.

A number of seminars were held which covered various strategies that help ensure both NHS and private laboratories are prepared for the reality of increasing test volumes in an uncertain environment. It was agreed by delegates that the need for a collaborative workforce, the latest technology, evidence based decisions to realise time and cost gains from process efficiencies, plus effective partnering with suppliers were all important factors.

The prominent theme within the meeting was using automation to promote lean processes and efficiencies. Delegates heard user experiences of automation and shared best practice ideas. Jonathan Bray, Pathology Manager at Huddersfield & Calderdale NHS Trust provided his feedback, “The benefits of automation are clear to see. We currently have a team of people labelling tubes, which could be automated to reduce costs. Budget cuts are rife therefore it is essential that we think long term and make investments which will benefit the Trust in ten years’ time.”

Other themes included cost savings, as budgets are tightening in both NHS and private laboratories. Delegates were encouraged to do internal evaluations, benchmarking and scenario analysis to collect activity-based costing data so outcomes can be measured. It was also highlighted by Siemens business implementation experts that to be successful in this change, the workforce must play a pivotal part and ensure it is embraced.

“Siemens is delighted to host an event that allows us to partner with laboratories to ensure the most suitable and effective lean tools are in place,” states Jeff Appleyard, Head of Healthcare Solutions, UK & NW Europe at Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics. “Providing timely and quality results are the bedrock of what pathology laboratories have to deliver. Process efficiencies, cultural change, seamless IT provision and the best use of available resources are also key elements to consider when planning a future-proof laboratory.”

The Process Management Meeting was followed with the launch of Aptio Automation, a track based solution developed to provide efficiencies in the laboratory. Delegates were invited to explore the system in more detail on the virtual displays and laboratory staff from Trusts such as NHS Tayside shared its experiences with the audience.

Picture caption: The Process Management Meeting saw delegates from all over the UK attend seminars across two days.