Methodology for the Preliminary Design of a System of Integrated Clinical Laboratories
Flores Audibert, Pablo Andres
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Clinical laboratory testing is used for deriving patient diagnoses, monitoring treatment and predicting the expected outcome of a disease (prognosis). Thus, the performance of clinical laboratories is critical for our healthcare systems and it is determined by the precision and accuracy of the test results, turnaround time and laboratory costs. This thesis presents a methodology for the preliminary design of a system of integrated clinical laboratories (PDL) which, if applied correctly, can improve turnaround time and laboratory costs, among other metrics, providing an efficient physical configuration of the clinical laboratory space and an efficient process to achieve those objectives. The preliminary design phase is where requirements are developed, and several solutions are outlined; where a focus on the clinical laboratory processes allows form to follow function. The PDL methodology has three stages: Stage 1 formulate the concept; Stage 2 develop design alternatives; and Stage 3 evaluate alternatives. The first stage is where the concept of the clinical laboratory is generated and where data and information are collected and transformed into requirements and processed information. The second stage is where the different preliminary designs alternatives are developed. And the third stage is where the designs are evaluated using criteria determined in Stage 1. The final results are a set of preliminary designs and a design package that organizes all of the information generated during the three phases of the PDL effort. The stages are not strictly sequential, since there are continuous feedback loops between them. Throughout the PDL methodology different concepts derived from different disciplines can be applied (e.g., facilities planning and design, lean management, project management, systems architecture, multiple-criteria decision-making, operations research). The clinical laboratory of Seattle Children’s Hospital is the case study of this thesis where the PDL methodology was successfully applied. The PDL methodology served the purpose of initiating the facility design for the clinical laboratory and preparing them to participate in the overall construction project of their new building.