There are many workflow and
personnel factors to consider
when evaluating a lab director’s
perpetual dilemma to renovate
a New Lab?
In the face of increasing demand for services, many lab directors feel their only option is to add
more personnel, increase or redesign lab space, or build a new facility altogether. In some cases, one of
these options may be appropriate,
but in others, improvements to existing procedures and workflow may
be sufficient to solve the problem.
Completing a thorough workflow
assessment prior to making any
significant changes will reveal the
most cost-effective and efficient
approach. Importantly, a thorough
workflow assessment will ensure
that maintaining or improving quality is the compelling force for any
changes to the lab.
Typically, it is capacity concerns
that get people thinking about
building a new laboratory. But often,
Once you have determined that,
the next question is whether your
current capacity allows you to keep
up with the demand. That is, what is
the ratio of samples received versus
samples processed and reported
over a given period of time? Could
you handle an unexpected increase
in demand? Once you have gath-
ered the necessary statistics to
address this question, the next step
is to determine whether building a
new laboratory is really the best way
to improve capacity.
Before deciding to build a new
laboratory, consider some of these
factors and their potential impact on
your particular situation.
Personnel factors can have a
significant impact on the overall
functioning and capacity of the
laboratory. A reasonable first step
in determining how best to improve
laboratory capacity is to look at personnel allocation and assignments.
Although many laboratory directors
assume adding more staff is the
best way to address a backlog,
that is not always the case. In some