The change to be implemented
The change to be implemented is the centralization of laboratory information. It will involve the compilation of all the infrastructure, resources, and data associated with laboratory work in a hospital setting. The project will lead to the standardization of lab processes by determining the key laboratory functions and the establishment of a coordinated system of information handling.
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Rationale for selecting the change
Laboratory needs are rapidly evolving; consequently, organizations need to adopt systems that will accommodate these changes. A lab first receives a sample and ought to record the corresponding data. If this information is not correctly logged in, then the organization may get unwanted effects. Additionally, it needs to plan and track samples to facilitate analytical work. Laboratories with an uncoordinated information system will have difficulties in processing or implementing quality control systems and this will also affect the use of their equipment. Besides, they may report cases of excessive or insufficient inventory; a centralized information system will solve these problems quite sufficiently. Data can be poorly stored if employees do not manage it effectively in a central laboratory system. Even the reporting of such information can be done poorly if institutions do not centralize it. Because of these unwanted possibilities, laboratories require a project that would lead to a well-integrated information system.
The organizational impact that the change will have and the expected outcomes
If an organization implements this suggestion, then it will benefit from better handling of test samples. Set protocols will exist to ensure efficient management of test data. The staff members will give priority to the most urgent results. The centralization of laboratory information will thus ensure that technicians communicate urgent results promptly. Furthermore, because staff will thoroughly plan all the information, then they will deliver even the least urgent results on time. Laboratory technicians may postpone certain tests under the assumption that they have a lot of time to work on them. However, a lack of proper tracking systems leads to lateness because no central system exists to indicate how far or near the deadline is.
The pre-analytic process in any laboratory is sometimes more crucial than the actual analytical process. Through this project, an organization can have set methods for the collection of samples. The employees will carry out transportation of the specimens in a standardized and organized manner. Once samples get to the analytical room, workers will effectively schedule them to get the desired procedures. A dedicated technician will have the task of dealing with these activities. As a result, the organization will benefit from streamlined pre-analytical processes. Staff members in the laboratory who handle these stages will know exactly what needs to be done through training from the technicians in charge. Therefore, the project will impact concerned organizations that implement it by strengthening the pre-analytic process.
The collection of specimens is a particularly challenging issue for most institutions because many individuals are responsible for their collection. However, if a centralized information system exists, then chances are that the right individuals will collect results at the right time. In some cases, ambulatory services may have ordered certain tests, and hence be responsible for their collection. Sometimes, some patients may be admitted, so they may lack the ability to collect their own results. In other scenarios, actual patients may do the same. It is essential to give test results to the entities that asked for them. For this to take place, a thorough recording of the responsible parties should be done. Through this project, it will be possible to determine accurately the personnel or patients responsible for the collection of test results because staff members will duly note and record those who requested for them.
Transportation of specimens will also be well coordinated as a result of the project. Sometimes a doctor may require several specimens from one patient. Alternatively, some tests may have to be transported to other parts of an institution or be taken offsite. As such, a strong coordination system of the transport arrangements is indispensable. Through the centralization of information concerning all the analytic work, such as blood, stool or urine, it will be possible to move these samples together and thus communicate the information as effectively as possible. Transporters will move critical specimens in accordance with their urgency. The organization will no longer suffer from haphazard movement of specimens to offsite locations or other parts of the institution.
Laboratory workers will carry out the Consolidation of all microbiology equipment through this project and thus save organizations a lot of resources spent on unnecessary purchases. A centralized information system will ensure that staff note all purchased equipment. Furthermore, they will include orders made for replacement of old equipment. The institution will exchange crucial equipment through a standardized process that solely rests on the centralization of the information system. When the institution knows all information concerning equipment, then hospitals will only purchase what they require, and this will lead to cost efficiency.
Potential threats to implementing the change
The project will require the implementing institution to undergo a lot of changes. Consequently, some human resource issues may threaten the success of the project. The massive restructuring will take place, and some people may not respond well to such aggressive changes. The project may be quite stressful to the concerned technologists and managers because they still have to continue with their regular jobs while consolidating information.
Standardizing laboratory procedures may be problematic for certain individuals as differences will arise on what processes should have a higher priority or not. Furthermore, some aspects of post-analytic work cannot be standardized and must be left at the discretion of the lab technician. This may undermine the main intention of centralizing information.
If project leaders do not inform workers about the benefits of centralizing their work, they may not participate fully in the project. Without enthusiasm from employees and support from senior management, parties will not provide needed information and the project will not succeed. Consequently, they have to be enlightened about the long and short-term benefits of the project, especially in their line of work.
Methods of evaluating this change
Since the project will alter several aspects of laboratory processes, it will be necessary to analyze all these areas separately. First, the evaluators will look into the chain of custody for information. Project evaluators will ensure that assigned groups access data and manage it as expected. The rate of compliance will also be assessed by checking on the rate at which technicians abide by set standards. Evaluators will analyze and record the management and distribution of information. Lastly, the evaluation will entail the measurement of inventory supplies and all the equipment within the laboratory.
Appendix with the expected main phases of work and timelines
Gantt Chart for Project Implementation
|Scheduling of samples||X|
|Equipment and inventory||X|