Interim Laboratory Department Director Reduces Turnaround Times

A 500-bed hospital in the Midwest was experiencing instability in its Laboratory department. A high rate of staff turnover and lack of stable departmental management contributed to increasing turnover times for laboratory tests and declining morale. Compass Clinical Consulting deployed an interim Laboratory Director to provide leadership of the department and address operational inefficiencies.


The interim Laboratory Director from Compass began by addressing three key indicators of laboratory performance – STAT, AM, and routine test turnarounds. He implemented a 15-week improvement plan to reduce these turnaround times and created other initiatives to improve operational issues like storage tracking, bar code labeling, and the hiring of needed staff. The interim Director also targeted complete blood count and renal testing for improvement. By working closely with staff and providing strong leadership and accountability, he helped the department achieve greater stability and efficiency.


As a result of the initiatives spearheaded by the interim Laboratory Director, the department saw marked improvement over a period of seven months. STAT, AM, and routine testing improved significantly. Furthermore, turnaround times for compete blood count and renal testing—which had been 70 and 25 minutes above baseline expectations, respectively—became much quicker, falling to 10 minutes below baseline. The hospital’s Assistant Vice President of Radiology commented,

“Compass matched our urgent need with a qualified candidate and had him on site within two weeks. The leadership and skill-set provided enabled us to meet our immediate goals and positioned us to grow and improve operations well into the future after the engagement was complete. The value added from this engagement was and continues to be tremendous.”

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