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LEAN Work Cell Success Highlighted Within NHS Improvement Session at FiLM 2012

Adjoining U-shaped LEAN work cells at a Path Links laboratoryAs part of the NHS Improvement ‘Bringing Lean to Life'1 initiative, Path Links NHS Pathology Service has recently presented on its successful implementation of a LEAN work cell based approach within its Blood Science laboratories. At the 10th Annual Frontiers in Laboratory Medicine (FiLM 2012), NHS Improvement facilitated a session on ‘Embedding the Culture of Improvement'. Here Mick Chomyn from Path Links NHS Pathology Service presented ‘LEAN Work Cells' - Automation is not always the answer'2, demonstrating how efficient work cells improved turnaround times and reduced staff costs without the need for expensive track.

Path Links has applied LEAN methodoloyg to optimise processes and layout in its clinical laboratories and subsequently ensure that the best equipment fitting the optimised processes was utilised. This has cost effectively delivered an enhanced service to hospitals and Primary Care across Lincolnshire. As well as ensuring faster turnaround times, higher productivity and efficiency, LEAN work cells have increased flexibility, improved space utilisation and quality.

The HORIBA Medical range of automated haematology analysers is ideal for LEAN working. Key attributes ensuring efficient workflows include: automated random access, reflex testing, automatic re-runs and integrated solutions, such as sample management, as well as slide preparation and staining systems. Also supporting optimised LEAN work cell layout, HORIBA Medical's high throughput solutions are compact in design with inbuilt compressors, enabling them to be trolley mounted and readily moved should changes to work processes require rapid laboratory reconfiguration.

In addition to its ‘LEAN Work Cell' presentation at FiLM 2012, Path Links NHS Pathology Service has also published, in collaboration with HORIBA Medical, a LEAN white paper TLA - The LEAN Alternative'3 detailing how the Service has achieved a "total LEAN solution" as an alternative to total laboratory automation.

For more information please visit


  1. NHS Improvement. ‘Bringing Lean to Life - Making processes flow in healthcare ‘. May 2010
  2. Chomyn, M. ‘LEAN Work Cells - Automation is not always the answer'.  Presentation at FiLM 2012
  3. Chomyn, M. and Fottles, M. ‘TLA - The ‘Lean' Alternative'.  HORIBA Medical White Paper, May 2011

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