Many in the healthcare industry, as well as other industries, think that new technology – automated systems and expensive equipment – can assure vastly improved workflow. In reality, too often new technology is infused into old processes, therefore greatly reducing the benefits of the investment. That was the initial experience at Virtua Voorhees Histology Lab in New Jersey, USA. However, Virtua decided to address workflow issues that continued after new equipment was installed by employing a Lean toolset, particularly Kaizen events.
For decades, overnight tissue processing was the only alternative for histology labs. Same-day results were not an option due to the limits of technology. Today’s technology has changed the landscape in the histology lab and offers drastically faster processing time. The microwave technology that formerly took 12 hours to process can now process in just one hour.