Workflow Management Processes to Improve Productivity (Online CE Course)

(based on 628 customer ratings)

Author: A. Wayne Bruce, Ph.D., M.S., MT (ASCP)
Reviewer: Julie Ann West, PhD, MLS(ASCP)CM, SM(ASCP)CM

How to Subscribe
MLS & MLT Comprehensive CE Package
Includes 182 CE courses, most popular
$109Add to cart
Pick Your Courses
Up to 8 CE hours
$55Add to cart
Individual course$25Add to cart
Need multiple seats for your university or lab? Get a quote

This course is a basic course on understanding and improving workflow in the clinical laboratory. General business principles of workflow are applied to the clinical laboratory. A case study is presented to demonstrate how a laboratory might want to streamline and improve its current workflow plan.

See all available courses

Continuing Education Credits

P.A.C.E.® Contact Hours (acceptable for AMT, ASCP, and state recertification): 1 hour(s)
Approved through 11/30/2025
Florida Board of Clinical Laboratory Personnel Credit Hours - Supervision/Administration, Quality Control/Quality Assurance, and Safety: 1 hour(s)
Approved through 11/30/2025

Objectives

  • Explain the meaning of workflow management.
  • Apply some of the industry principles of workflow management to the clinical laboratory.
  • Describe the streamlining process for improving the workflow path.
  • Be able to create a workflow plan.
  • Set baseline metrics to measure success in implementation of a new workflow plan.
  • Describe a root cause analysis and how it is used to find the cause of problems in workflow in the clinical laboratory.
  • Describe the "Five Whys" technique that can be used in the root cause analysis process.
  • Utilize "fishbone" root cause analysis and the "Five Whys" to identify root causes and ways to improve workflow.
  • List nine things that can be done to enhance the path of workflow.
  • Describe how automation can improve workflow and reduce errors.

Customer Ratings

(based on 628 customer ratings)

Course Outline

Click on the links below to preview selected pages from this course.
  • Introduction to Workflow Management
    • What is Workflow in the Clinical laboratory?
      • What Exactly is Workflow in the Clinical Laboratory?
    • Introduction to Workflow Management
      • Workflow Management and Streamlining
      • When Should the Laboratory Decide to Look Into Streamlining a Workflow Path?
      • Which of the following examples is not a good reason for looking into streamlining a workflow path?
      • Laboratory Path of Workflow and Workflow Plan
      • An aim of workflow management is to:
    • Why is Workflow Management Important?
      • Importance of Workflow Management
      • Which of the following is not an example of good workflow management?
      • True or False? One important reason to have a workflow management plan is to empower workers.
    • Phases of Workflow
  • Creating a Workflow Plan
    • Leader Responsibilities
      • Leader Responsibilities
      • In the development of a workflow plan, leader responsibilities include which of the following?
    • Initial Workflow Planning Steps
    • Selecting the Team and Setting Guidelines
      • Selecting the Team
      • When selecting the workflow planning team and setting guidelines, the leader should:
    • Setting Baseline Metrics
      • Setting Baseline Metrics
      • Which of the following is not a useful metric in assessing a new workflow plan for improvement of the workflow process?
    • Team Planning Activities
      • Workflow Planning Team Activities
      • True or False? As part of the workflow team planning activities it is best if the leader (usually the supervisor) initially does a walk of the whole p...
      • Devising the Strategy for Solving the Problem
    • Root Cause Analysis Explained
      • What is Root Cause Analysis?
      • What is root cause analysis?
    • The "Five Whys" Strategy
      • The "Five Whys" Root Cause Analysis Strategy Explained
      • In the workflow problem example of the excessive chemistry repeats (recall the prior page), the Five Whys technique was used. Choose the correct answe...
    • The Fishbone Analysis Root Cause Strategy
      • Fishbone Analysis Explained
      • A commonly used visualization tool for identifying and analyzing the root causes of a problem or inefficiencies may be called any of the following, ex...
    • Case Study: Improving the Workflow Process in the Pre-examination Phase
      • Case Study: Improving Workflow in the Pre-examination Phase of Testing
      • Establishing Metrics
      • Root Cause Analysis Strategies for the Case Study
      • Test Selection and Ordering
      • Patient Identification
      • Collection of Samples
      • Handling of Sample Collected
      • Processing of Specimens
      • Final Preparation for Testing
      • Workflow Planning Team Recommended General Solutions
      • A great majority of lab errors are attributed to all of the following pre-examination (preanalytical) errors, except:
      • Referring to the case study: After doing the Five Whys stage for each collection of samples problem, the team determined that:
  • Summary
      • Improving Workflow Management in the Clinical Laboratory: Summary (Use These Nine Ways to Enhance Workflow)
  • References
      • References

Additional Information

Level of Instruction: Basic
Intended Audience: Laboratory administration and management to include medical laboratory scientists and technicians. This course is also appropriate for medical laboratory science students and pathology residents.
Author Information: A. Wayne Bruce, B.S. MT ASCP, M.S. MT, Ph.D., HED Admin. Dr. Bruce has over 35 years of experience as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist, Laboratory Consultant, and Laboratory Director. He also served as director of the Clinical Laboratory B.S. and M.S. Programs at the University of North Dakota for 25 years. He was on the planning team for the startup of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine in Northern Ontario serving as the Associate Dean for the Health Sciences and Continuing Medical Education. He has authored a book on quality assurance and a manual on financial management for the clinical laboratory. He has also served as a technical consultant to over 35 clinical laboratories during his career.
Reviewer Information: Dr. Julie Ann West is certified by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) as a Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS) and as a Specialist in Microbiology (SM). In addition, Dr. West has earned a Ph.D. in Public Health - Epidemiology Specialization (emphasis on infectious disease) - and is Certified in Public Health (CPH) by the National Board of Public Health Examiners. Dr. West is experienced as a Technical Specialist, Safety Officer, Educator, and Lead in the Veterans Administration Healthcare System, and has prior experience as an Administrative Laboratory Director.
Course Description: This course focuses on understanding and improving workflow in the clinical laboratory. General business principles of workflow are applied to the clinical laboratory. A case study is presented to demonstrate how a laboratory might want to streamline and improve its current workflow plan. 

How to Subscribe
MLS & MLT Comprehensive CE Package
Includes 182 CE courses, most popular
$109Add to cart
Pick Your Courses
Up to 8 CE hours
$55Add to cart
Individual course$25Add to cart
Need multiple seats for your university or lab? Get a quote
shutterstock 337549328 imported 9252023


Fishbone