5 Tips to Boost Productivity in the Lab

Let’s be honest. We could all use an extra hour in the day. Or two… or three… or even just 30 minutes!

In working with labs we have found one of the biggest pain points is the inability to find the time to scan or fax in lab results and manually enter the data into the EMR. This is an enormous issue, considering if these results aren’t entered into the EMR quickly and accurately, someone’s life could be in harm’s way.

I like to boast about my epic workload balancing and prioritization skills. I have researched proven methods and applied my own advice to share tips and tricks on managing time and workloads in the lab in order to be a lab powerhouse.


1. Limit your trips around the building.

Ever start your day going to get a cup of coffee? Sure, most of us do! Well then you catch yourself stopping by Janet’s desk to see how her weekend went and Peter stops over because he heard you talking about the new exhibit at the zoo... yadda yadda yadda. You grab your coffee, get back to the lab and 30 minutes have already flown by!

Standing up and walking around is very important. Try being as quick as possible, if folks notice you look like you’re on a mission, they won’t stop to chitchat. If someone does stop you to chat, ask if you can meet after work for drinks or even over lunch to catch up.

2. Audit your project processes.

Are you tracking every single metric under the sun? Well if you only use three of the ten billion, you should review why you are collecting the data and ‘cut the fat’. Pulling through projects for various data is time consuming and wastes precious time. Streamline your processes on a quarterly basis to ensure needs are being met without overworking.

3. Set deadlines for everything.

Deadlines drive us to complete projects not only on-time, but in a timely manner. There are many ways to maximize the use of deadlines to drive project productivity. For example, setting up buffer times for either before or after the project will make sure you have enough time scheduled to complete the project or task at hand. For more tips and tricks, check out 5 Ways to Use Deadlines to Your Advantage by The Freelancer.

4. Prioritize.

Prioritizing what needs to be done will ensure that the truly important and urgent work will receive more attention and be completed in a timely manner. There are so many other benefits of prioritization like boosting quality and feeling less burned-out. For more information, check out 5 Benefits of Prioritizing Our Work by HubPages.

5. Enlist help.

After completing a process audit, setting task deadlines and prioritizing your workload it will be easier to see how much time you simply cannot cut out each week. The audit will clear up which pain points need additional attention. In order to master time management, it may be beneficial to enlist help for the pain points. For example, if data entry is a large pain point, it may make sense to select a solution to capture lab results as discrete data in the LIS in order to automate the process.

Extract Systems invented a tool to assist with the capture of paper documents and automate the following:

  • Finding and extracting detailed lab results data
  • Standardizing test names, codes, unit measures and reference ranges
  • De-duplicating full or partial lab results
  • Validating patient ID
  • Reconciling lab orders

And it…

  • Integrates easily with LIS software such as Sunquest, Cerner, McKesson Horizon Lab
  • Save hundreds of hours of data entry work
  • Gives clinicians access to discrete lab results faster
  • Saves many thousands of dollars in valuable resources

Can you imagine how much time and energy you can save with a tool like that? For more information, request more information here:

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Do you have more tips and tricks for managing time in the lab? Let us know! Leave your suggestions in the comments below.

About the Author: Chantel Soumis

Chantel Soumis studied marketing communications and business administration at Franklin University and proceeded to work in a fast, ambitious environment, assuring client delight. Passionate about productivity and streamlining workflows through the use of technology, Chantel strives to spread the knowledge of Extract’s advanced OCR solution.