HomeNewsDisplay

News Search

Lab tech draws CPI to reduce steps, improve processes

Staff Sgt. Alana Pool, 45th Medical Group medical laboratory technician performs a microscopic examination of a blood smear in the hematology department, July 17, 2017, at the medical clinic, Patrick Air Force Base, Fla.  Lab technicians recently used the 45th Space Wing’s Continuous Process Improvement program to redesign six processing areas at the medical clinic. At a weeklong Green Belt academics course they learned new tools and techniques to use in solving problems, improving processes and creating value for patients and physicians. (U.S. Air Force photo by Phil Sunkel)

Staff Sgt. Alana Pool, 45th Medical Group medical laboratory technician performs a microscopic examination of a blood smear in the hematology department, July 17, 2017, at the medical clinic, Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. Lab technicians recently used the 45th Space Wing’s Continuous Process Improvement program to redesign six processing areas at the medical clinic. At a weeklong Green Belt academics course they learned new tools and techniques to use in solving problems, improving processes and creating value for patients and physicians. (U.S. Air Force photo by Phil Sunkel)

Staff Sgt. Douglas Turner, Non Commissioned Officer in Charge of laboratory services, prepares chemistry samples for analysis by placing them in the machine sample tray, July 17, 2017, at the medical clinic, Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. Lab technicians recently used the 45th Space Wing’s Continuous Process Improvement program to redesign six processing areas at the medical clinic. At a weeklong Green Belt academics course they learned new tools and techniques to use in solving problems, improving processes and creating value for patients and physicians. (U.S. Air Force photo by Phil Sunkel)

Staff Sgt. Douglas Turner, Non Commissioned Officer in Charge of laboratory services, prepares chemistry samples for analysis by placing them in the machine sample tray, July 17, 2017, at the medical clinic, Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. Lab technicians recently used the 45th Space Wing’s Continuous Process Improvement program to redesign six processing areas at the medical clinic. At a weeklong Green Belt academics course they learned new tools and techniques to use in solving problems, improving processes and creating value for patients and physicians. (U.S. Air Force photo by Phil Sunkel)

Staff Sgt. Fredrick Whalum, 45th Medical Group medical laboratory technician, plates a throat culture for identification in the microbiology department, July 17, 2017, at the medical clinic, Patrick Air Force Base, Fla.  Lab technicians recently used the 45th Space Wing’s Continuous Process Improvement program to redesign six processing areas at the medical clinic. At a weeklong Green Belt academics course they learned new tools and techniques to use in solving problems, improving processes and creating value for patients and physicians. (U.S. Air Force photo by Phil Sunkel)

Staff Sgt. Fredrick Whalum, 45th Medical Group medical laboratory technician, plates a throat culture for identification in the microbiology department, July 17, 2017, at the medical clinic, Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. Lab technicians recently used the 45th Space Wing’s Continuous Process Improvement program to redesign six processing areas at the medical clinic. At a weeklong Green Belt academics course they learned new tools and techniques to use in solving problems, improving processes and creating value for patients and physicians. (U.S. Air Force photo by Phil Sunkel)

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --

When a self-proclaimed “passionate for process improvement” NCO found the class he needed to innovatively improve his section, he ended up impacting the entire medical clinic at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla.

Tech. Sgt. Joshua Soper, 45th Medical Support Squadron lab technician, said the 45th Space Wing’s Continuous Process Improvement (CPI) program was the answer his team needed to help move them in the right direction to fix the concerns he had in their work area.

“We were facing a 10 percent increase in patient workload during fiscal year 2016 and minimum manning with upcoming deployments,” said Soper. “We wanted to do something to minimize the miles our lab techs walked every day to process sample lab tests.”

A weeklong Green Belt academics course taught Soper new tools and techniques to use in solving problems, improving processes and creating value for patients and physicians.

“Soper learned simple tools to help set up an efficient and standardized work center,” said Thomas Maxwell, CPI instructor at the 45th Force Support Squadron’s Manpower Flight. “His lab team redesigned six processing areas. They moved machines to where they would be more useful and color coded reorder indicators so they could reduce time spent inventorying supplies.”

Creating what essentially works like an assembly line helped put things in a logical order to process a sample, Soper said. Setting supplies, equipment, computers and a refrigerator into its most functional space helped the team reduce the amount of personnel movement needed to process.  For example, one area was processing up to 120 samples a day with about 20 steps for each sample.

His lab technician team discovered they walked approximately two miles a day in a 25’x 25’ area and Soper wanted to eliminate those unnecessary steps, said Maxwell.

“This team made significant savings across the board,” said Maxwell. “They eliminated 75 percent of their walking steps to almost a quarter mile, they’re projecting a 20 percent savings on lab test kits and increased their team’s overall productivity by 30 percent.”

Additionally, Soper eliminated any clutter and color coded references to match the places they belong as a quick reference an Airman can go to while processing their tasks.

“Everything a lab technician needs to run the process is now right in front of them, which gives them more time to focus on administrative care and less time on looking for things,” said Soper.

The doctors, nurses and staff at the 45th MDG’s clinic have noticed faster turnaround times on their reports.

“What is happening ‘behind the scenes’ at our medical clinic to improve our patient’s quality of care is amazing,” said Col. Julie Stola, 45th Medical Group commander.  “Because our Airmen are passionate about the mission to provide compassionate, high quality care, ensuring mission ready forces and healthy families, they are coming up with innovative ways to make our processes better. Soper has set a benchmark for all other services that the 45th MDG provides to hundreds of beneficiaries, daily.”   

The CPI program is offered as a single day or weeklong course to provide simple tools and techniques needed to solve problems and improve processes.

To enroll in CPI training, contact your local MTF. 

Air Force Medicine

Engage

Facebook Twitter
“The transition to the Defense Health Agency will better prepare our medical professionals for the future of the jo… https://t.co/RJHgAUAjs8
@USAF_ACC @TeamTyndall We're here for you, Team Tyndall! #Wingmen
RT @USAF_ACC: .@TeamTyndall, your fellow wingmen are here to help! Airmen from the 96th Medical Group at Moody AFB are helping out at #Tynd
#TBT: Air Force Surgeon General Alonzo A. Tower oversees an instructor teaching the Physicians’ Assistant course at… https://t.co/GuJ39elrJd
Pharmacists are an integral part of patient care. These medication experts help maximize positive health outcomes a… https://t.co/E6jLeJR8yl
Please congratulate Maj. Regan F. Lyon and Col. Kerry P. Latham for being the 2018 MHS Female Physician Leadership… https://t.co/UxVzKleSxh
CLEAR! Airmen with the 439th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron perform a function check of a defibrillator during a… https://t.co/wenoaTroGj
RT @60MDG_DGMC: DGMC 30th Anniversary! Did you know that David Grant Medical Center has been delivering trusted care at its current locatio…
Medical assistants and technicians perform a wide range of administrative and clinical roles and are vital members… https://t.co/JbR5hpFetl
If left untreated, trauma-related disorders, caused by traumatic events, can deepen and prolong distress. Look out… https://t.co/I6d6Xqn4rG
RT @TRICARE: Due to #HurricaneMichael, emergency refill procedures have been extended through October 31st, for the impacted areas of Alaba…
Meet Preston! The first Courthouse Facility Dog in the @DeptofDefense and @usairforce. After training for more than… https://t.co/mZzybXe1w2
RT @AirMobilityCmd: Aeromedical evacuation crews from @jointbasemdl, @MacDill_AFB, and @439Westover boarded a #TTail to Hawaii to train tog…
AETC Command Surgeon, Col. (Dr.) Gianna R. Zeh, discusses her thoughts on ongoing improvements, how medical Airmen… https://t.co/R13v4ladvp
Keep your family’s personal and health information safe as you surf the Web. Follow these cybersecurity steps from… https://t.co/hKCOSICyTm
RT @TRICARE: Looking for a pharmacy near Tyndall AFB (@TeamTyndall)? For a full list of network pharmacies, visit: https://t.co/Ct5B0PCIWV…
Did you know the MHS Nurse Advice Line has expanded to include additional health care support services? A registere… https://t.co/6MfGWegP6i
2Lt Aimee Clonts, a clinical nurse with at JBER is this week’s #TrustedCare Hero for proactively becoming a subject… https://t.co/B3Nz4hLI9i
RT @TRICARE: Have you been affected by #hurrincaneMicael? TRICARE has many resources available to you when a disaster strikes. For more inf…
RT @usairforce: A message from @SecAFOfficial, @GenDaveGoldfein & CMSAF Wright following their visit @TeamTyndall. https://t.co/WbF8BTVj3D…