Making it Lean: Shands at AGH Lab Process Improvement and Layout Redesign

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Mary Hageman
University of Florida

Lauren Milne
University of Florida

Shands at Alachua General Hospital is the community hospital of Shands in Gainesville. The Core Lab at Shands at AGH, a 367-bed community hospital in central Florida, has been struggling to meet their demand due to inefficient workflow processes. The main objectives for this project are to identify process improvement opportunities, design an optimum layout and determine the required staffing level to meet workload demand. Lean concepts of waste reduction were used to improve the process flow by allowing employees to execute tasks completely, encouraging employee involvement and shortening distances traveled by technicians. Systematic Layout Planning methods were also used to evaluate optimum locations of all equipment in the Lab. Layout alternatives were developed for long and short-term recommendations. Finally, a workload analysis was conducted to compare the current staffing level to benchmark standards. Layout design, process improvement, and employee cross-training recommendations are expected to result in more efficient utilization of lab technicians' time and elimination of unbudgeted hourly part time staff as well as cost avoidance of 1.0 FTE to cover night shift demand. Short-term recommendations are estimated to result in annual cost savings of $1691 per year from reduction in labor and maintenance expense. Total annual savings of $71,282 (maintenance cost savings and short-term labor savings) are achievable from long-term recommendations. Total project cost is estimated to be $277,907 with contingency and other fees, and total project savings is estimated to be $71,831 (maintenance cost savings and long-term labor savings). The simple payback period for proposed recommendations is estimated to be 3.9 years assuming sequential implementation of long-term and short-term recommendations.