How To Improve Lab Productivity | 11 Simple Tips

how to improve lab productivity -11 simple tips

Lab productivity is a huge deal for any business,

and it’s something that many companies struggle

with. It can be difficult to find the right techniques

to improve your productivity in the lab. We’ve put

together 11 simple strategies you can use today to

increase lab efficiency and make sure you’re

getting everything done on time!

how to improve lab productivity - 11 simple tips (pinterest pin)
How To Improve Lab Productivity - 11 Simple Tips (Pinterest Pin)

What Is Lab Productivity?

Scientisit working

Lab productivity is a term that refers to the

rate at which test results are produced by your

laboratory. The faster you can get these results,

and turn them into useful information, the more

productive your lab will be!

When is Lab Productivity Used?

health care researchers working in life science lab

Lab productivity can be used at any time to

determine how well your lab is performing. It’s an

essential tool for if you’re trying to improve the

speed of your test results, or simply need a way

to measure performance in order to make sure

everyone within the laboratory has their work out

on time.

attractive young female scientist and her senior male supervisor
Attractive young female scientist and her senior male supervisor

How Is Lab Productivity Measured?

caucasian technologist expert controlling industrial process in production plant
technologist in safety suit and mask using tablet in production plant
Technologist in safety suit and mask using tablet in production plant

There are a number of different metrics you can

use to measure your lab’s productivity. Some

companies track the amount of test results they

produce in a single day, while others focus on the

percentage of tests that have turned out useful

information for their business. If you’re not sure

which metric is right for your company, keep reading! We’ll go over the pros and cons of each metric in a

minute. First, let’s take a look at some other common lab productivity metrics that you might also see used

by your peers!

  • Number Of Tests Per Week Or Month
  • Percentage Of Test Results That Are Not Useful For Business Decisions
  • Loss Rates (The percentage of tests not returning results due to mistakes or errors in the lab)

We’ll go over each of these metrics, and why they are important for your business!

How Is Lab Productivity Measured?

This is a metric that is very common among companies who have smaller testing volumes. If you produce

300 tests per week, it’s easy to look at this number on a weekly or bi-weekly basis and track your lab’s

progress. The main advantage of this metric is that it can be very easy to understand, even for employees

who haven’t been in the lab for long!

Percentage Of Test Results That Are Not Useful For Business Decisions

This is a great way to see how much your company is actually learning from the lab. If you find that your

company is only getting useful data out of half or less of their tests, there are definitely some changes

that need to be made in order for this number to improve!

Loss Rates (The Percentage Of Tests Not Returning Results Due To Mistakes Or Errors In The Lab

 This metric that can be very helpful for companies who are using their lab to make decisions about new

products. If you know that your loss rate is too high, it might be time to investigate what’s causing these

errors! Tracking this metric over a long period of time will allow you to see whether or not changes in

process have helped reduce the number of mistakes being made. Now that we’ve gone over some of the

most common lab productivity metrics, let’s talk about why each of them is important for your business!

Why Is Lab Productivity So Important?

The main reason lab productivity is so important

revolves around the fact that you can be

penalized for delaying your test results. You may

also lose clients if you’re unable to complete their

tests in a timely fashion, and in some cases it

could even lead to serious medical conditions

going untreated! With all of these possible

penalties, just imaginethe impact of slowing down

your lab by a day or two.

Professional workers in coveralls and masks use laptop and talk

What Affects Lab Productivity?

While there are a number of factors that can affect your lab’s productivity, some things you might not have

considered include:

  • The age and condition of equipment. If you don’t maintain it properly then the machinery won’t work as well – resulting in lower output from each piece!
  • The number of employees you have in your laboratory. More people = more opportunities for mistakes, so it’s important to make sure they’re all equally equipped with the necessary tools and training.
  • The number of tests you’re currently running. If your lab is busy, it’s likely that there might be a delay in the delivery time of test results. This can cause problems for customers so make sure to keep track of how many orders are on the go at any one time!
  • The size and nature of your business. If you’re a small company, then it might be harder to increase productivity as the number of tests you run is likely to stay relatively constant across time. On the other hand, if you’re running multiple locations or offer large sample volume testing (i.e.: paternity), this will also impact how often you need to deliver results.

What Are The Benefits Of Improving Lab Productivity?

stylish female robotics engineer leans on the table while looking at blueprints
side view of serious researchers working together, looking at computer screen
Side view of serious researchers working together, looking at computer screen

There are many benefits of improving lab

productivity. One example is that you can give

more attention to your other work, like writing

blog posts! Another benefit is the ability to

complete projects faster and on time compared to

having subpar lab conditions.

What Are The Drawbacks Of Improving Lab Productivity?

depressed and stressed scientist in laboratory

One major drawback of improving lab productivity

is that it takes a lot of time and effort in order to

see results. It’s also difficult for some people who

aren’t used to being this productive! However, if

you stick with it for a few weeks then the benefits

are well worth the effort.

frustrated upset research scientists feeling tired & worried in laboratory
Frustrated upset research scientists feeling tired & worried in laboratory

How To Improve Lab Productivity?

There are several ways to improve lab productivity, but only some of them will have an actual effect on

how quickly you can get your test results! Here’s our list of simple techniques that we’ve come up with:

There are several ways to improve lab productivity, but only some of them will have an actual effect on

how quickly you can get your test results! Here’s our list of simple techniques that we’ve come up with:

1. Plan For The Day Ahead

Medical assistant organizing folders to the doctor in medical office

It may seem like a no-brainer, but planning ahead

is one of the best ways to improve lab

productivity. By knowing what needs to be done

that day you’ll have fewer distractions and more

time for your actual work!

2. Improve Lab Conditions

Bright and Ultra Modern High Tech Laboratory Full of Advanced Technological Creation

The first thing you need to do is improve your lab

conditions. It sounds simple, but in reality it can

help a lot when trying to work more efficiently!

Some things that we recommend are switching

lighting and temperature control, reducing clutter

around the equipment, using ergonomically

designed chairs/desks, and working in a

distraction-free environment.

3. Use Technology To Your Advantage

scientists and microbiologists with ppe suit and face mask hold test tube and microscopes in a lab
Scientists and microbiologists with PPE suit and face mask hold test tube and microscopes in a lab

A lot of people use technology without knowing

that it can actually help them get more work

done! There are many different pieces of

equipment you can utilize to improve your

efficiency, but here’s a list of some we

recommend:

  • Refrigerated centrifuges allow you to store samples at a consistent temperature for longer periods of time.
  • Refrigerated incubators can help you maintain specific temperatures when growing cultures, and allow more samples to be stored in less space!

4. Utilizing The Proper Equipment And Techniques!

Young scientist works in biological lab

Using the right equipment and techniques is a

great way to improve lab productivity. We

recommend that you experiment with different

methods until you find one or more that work

well for your team!

5. Time Management

The clock and timestamp without numbers

Managing your time efficiently can be very

difficult if you don’t do it well enough. However,

there are many different techniques that allow

you to improve the way you manage your tasks!

Here’s a list of some we recommend:

  • Start using an agenda planner in order to prioritize and set goals for yourself each week.
  • You can also make a to-do list of all the tasks you need to complete during your workday.
  • Take advantage of time management apps, such as Google Calendar or Outlook!

6. Improve Your Lab’s Communication

science students and lecturer looking at whiteboard in a laboratory
Science students and lecturer looking at whiteboard in a laboratory

One thing that many people don’t realize is how

important it is to improve your lab’s

communication with the rest of your company!

This can be done in many different ways, but one

simple way is to use a chat system. The more

people who are communicating with each other

the faster you’ll get results.

7. Make Sure All Team Members Are Collaborating Together

multiethnic group of laboratory scientists discussing their research in a lab
Multiethnic group of laboratory scientists discussing their research in a lab

Having everyone working together will help

improve lab productivity by multiple times

compared to having them work independently! It’s

important for everyone to have a common goal in

mind, and working together is the best way to

achieve this.

8. Prioritize Your Tasks

business friends discussing brainstorming and ideas at meeting inside beautiful modern building
Business friends discussing brainstorming and ideas at meeting inside beautiful modern building

If you have a long list of tasks to complete,

prioritize them in order of importance. This will

ensure that your most important work gets done

first, and it helps give some direction for the

day.

9. Don’t Waste Time On Unnecessary Tasks

Female Scientist - Stop Symbol

There are some tasks that you can do less

frequently but they don’t require much time on

your part! For example, cleaning pipettes or

centrifuge tubes after use makes a huge

difference in the amount of time you have to

spend on other tasks that require your attention!

10. Improve Your Lab’s Efficiency By A Day or Two Per Week

team of scientists working together in a laboratory
Team of scientists working together in a laboratory

In order for this strategy to work, it requires a lot

of discipline and effort from every member.

However, if everyone is able to stick with it then

all of your lab tests will be completed on time!

11. Take Breaks To Refresh Yourself

young female doctor smiling in front of the city
Young female doctor smiling in front of the city

Taking breaks is one of our favorite ways to

increase lab productivity! Even if you’re in the

middle of an important task, take a few minutes

to get away from your work. It’s good for both

your mind and body!

What Are Some Of The Problems You Can Solve With Improved Lab Productivity?

double exposure image of scientific and medical lab instruments

There are many problems that can be solved by

improving lab productivity! One example is being

able to complete more experiments in less time

which will lead to positive results from your lab

tests. Another example is being able to have more

time for other work that will improve the company

as a whole. Now that we’ve learned about some

of the most common lab productivity metrics,

let’s take a look at how you can improve your

own!

Young scientists with microscope making test or doing research in clinical laboratory

Conclusion

There are many ways to improve lab productivity, it just takes time and effort! Fortunately for you, we’ve

compiled a list of simple techniques that will speed up your process by multiple times. This blog post has

given you several suggestions on how to improve lab productivity. The more time that’s spent working

towards this goal, the sooner everyone will see better results!

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