Laboratories live at the intersection of research and business. The lab is where all specimens come for testing, and you’re the only ones authorized to handle the results. While you have highly trained technicians following strict protocols, things can slip through the cracks. Here are the most common laboratory management mistakes.
Improper Specimen Handling
Working in a medical laboratory requires attention to detail. So, when your attention slips, your work can go very wrong. Most of the laboratory tests you run will involve organic materials either from human clients or researchers. When you have a specimen, you must handle it according to the temperature, pressure, and time requirements. For example, if you take a patient’s blood and fail to preserve it at a low temperature, you could compromise the sample.
Poor Information Management
Information is the glue that holds a laboratory together. While you deal with specimens and tests, your work culminates in the data you interpret and share. This is why poor information management is a huge lab mistake. If you have unorganized documentation, hard-to-read handwritten labels, or data insecurity, you’ll lose the trust of both your patients and partner organizations. Therefore, how you handle sensitive information directly relates to your success in the long run.
Forgetting the Business Side
Every laboratory worker deals with scientific work and problem-solving that taxes the mind. Yet, you cannot lose sight of the fact that your lab is also a business. You rely on clients to pay you for your testing and interpretation services. You need partners, funding, plans, visions, marketing, and more, just like any other business. As such, you must also consider your relationships with other businesses and organizations. Do you have the best deal with your lab equipment supplier? Are you a part of larger medical organizations that support you?
Knowing the most common laboratory management mistakes can help you stay on the right path with your business. When you remember the key elements to a successful lab, you’re more likely to flourish as an organization.