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Article
Publication date: 11 October 2021

Daniele Morselli and Andrea Mattia Marcelli

This contribution investigates methodological questions concerning Change Laboratory interventions. It contemplates the research questions: To what extent the Change…

Abstract

Purpose

This contribution investigates methodological questions concerning Change Laboratory interventions. It contemplates the research questions: To what extent the Change Laboratory can be situated within the panorama of qualitative inquiry? If so, to what extent can the methods and strategies of inquiry help improve a Change Laboratory intervention?

Design/methodology/approach

To answer the first question, this paper makes an overview on key terms of qualitative research; subsequently, it presents the characterising features of the Change Laboratory. Then, it takes a historical perspective and compares the Change Laboratory firstly against action research, and secondly with design experiments. To answer the second section, it examines a case study of Change Laboratory with teachers that the first author facilitated. Next, it displays how trustworthiness was ensured through a thick description and member checks.

Findings

The paper argues that the Change Laboratory is a strategy of inquiry; it aligns with the characteristics of qualitative research, and it follows the agenda of a participative paradigm. Furthermore, the methods and strategies of inquiry such as thick descriptions and member checks, not only can improve rigour and validity of the intervention but also strengthen the outcomes of the Change Laboratory itself.

Originality/value

The Change Laboratory is well defined as a formative method, but not fully understood as an investigative method. Although scholars discussed methodological issues of Cultural Historical Activity Theory in diverse articles, the relationship between the Change Laboratory and qualitative inquiry has remained unclear.

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Article
Publication date: 12 July 2013

Ali Elbireer, Julie Le Chasseur and Brooks Jackson

The Uganda Makerere University provides clinical laboratory support to over 70 clients in Uganda. With increased volume, manual data entry errors have steadily increased…

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Abstract

Purpose

The Uganda Makerere University provides clinical laboratory support to over 70 clients in Uganda. With increased volume, manual data entry errors have steadily increased, prompting laboratory managers to employ the Six Sigma method to evaluate and reduce their problems. The purpose of this paper is to describe how laboratory data entry quality was improved by using Six Sigma.

Design/methodology/approach

The Six Sigma Quality Improvement (QI) project team followed a sequence of steps, starting with defining project goals, measuring data entry errors to assess current performance, analyzing data and determining data‐entry error root causes. Finally the team implemented changes and control measures to address the root causes and to maintain improvements. Establishing the Six Sigma project required considerable resources and maintaining the gains requires additional personnel time and dedicated resources.

Findings

After initiating the Six Sigma project, there was a 60.5 percent reduction in data entry errors from 423 errors a month (i.e. 4.34 Six Sigma) in the first month, down to an average 166 errors/month (i.e. 4.65 Six Sigma) over 12 months. The team estimated the average cost of identifying and fixing a data entry error to be $16.25 per error. Thus, reducing errors by an average of 257 errors per month over one year has saved the laboratory an estimated $50,115 a year.

Practical implications

The Six Sigma QI project provides a replicable framework for Ugandan laboratory staff and other resource‐limited organizations to promote quality environment. Laboratory staff can deliver excellent care at a lower cost, by applying QI principles.

Originality/value

This innovative QI method of reducing data entry errors in medical laboratories may improve the clinical workflow processes and make cost savings across the health care continuum.

Details

International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, vol. 26 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0952-6862

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Article
Publication date: 27 March 2007

Wilai Chalermchan, Sirporn Pitak and Suwanee Sungkawasee

The Thailand National Institute of Health (NIH) established an external quality assessment (EQA) scheme on HIV serology testing since 1994 for many public health…

Abstract

Purpose

The Thailand National Institute of Health (NIH) established an external quality assessment (EQA) scheme on HIV serology testing since 1994 for many public health laboratories. For the past six years, the NIH has evaluated the activities of 226 laboratories.

Design/methodology/approach

Approximately 40,000 tests using 16 trial samples of external quality assessment panel performed at 226 laboratories during 2000‐2006. The methods performed were classified into five assays; machine‐based enzyme immunoassay (MBA), microplate‐based enzyme immunoassay (EIA), simple/rapid test and antigen assay only performed at blood screening laboratory centers. A few laboratories performed confirmation method by western blot (WB). Most participating laboratories performed at least two methods.

Findings

The evaluation showed that, during the six‐year period, the program had an increasing response rate among all groups of laboratories: government hospital laboratories, private hospital and clinic laboratories and blood screening laboratory centers. Moreover, there were no significantly different errors found between these groups. The highest median percent of overall errors found was in antigen assay. Very minimal errors appeared on other methods.

Originality/value

National HIV EQA program has played an important role in improving the quality of participating laboratory performance. The participating laboratories gained a better understanding and were able to use good quality anti‐HIV approved kits. Furthermore, HIV serology testing selection was varied over the past six years as microplate‐based EIA was mostly used in the past but currently MBA and simple/rapid test are more commonly used. The test methods were determined by test volumes and budget. In addition, sensitivity was one critical reason labs chose to use EIA. The most popular method used was simple/rapid testing. Overall errors occurred with all assays but not with WB. Errors could occur with any test techniques if good quality management is not employed.

Details

International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, vol. 20 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0952-6862

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1962

Many new laboratories have been built and others extended in recent years. It would be surprising if, in the process, the same problems did not keep cropping up. It would…

Abstract

Many new laboratories have been built and others extended in recent years. It would be surprising if, in the process, the same problems did not keep cropping up. It would be even more surprising if fairly common solutions had not been found to a good proportion of them. These areas of common ground emerge in the symposium published in this issue and the next. In the symposium, which is restricted to electrical engineering laboratories, the contributors describe the arrangements in some up‐to‐date labs in colleges of various sizes. The intention is to indicate the requirements which they were designed to meet and, in turn, to relate these requirements to the aims and organisation of laboratory work. The symposiasts, in expressing their opinions, have in total covered this wide field quite thoroughly, but it is not intended to be a survey — there is no documentation of how each point of practice is carried through in a range of different laboratories — rather, good examples of modern methods used in individual laboratories are presented. To agree on standard laboratory plans and equipment lists to meet certain sets of requirements would not be desirable — even if it were possible. Areas where opinions and practices differ will become clear, and further points of difference will, we hope, be brought out in subsequent correspondence. The symposiasts and others designing or reconsidering their laboratories will welcome reactions and suggestions from readers: practical work and laboratory experiments occupy such a significant place in technical education in this country — even judged only by the allocation of course time and the expenditure on equipment — that the fullest discussion and most careful thought must be given to the planning of teaching workshops and laboratories.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 4 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2000

Lindsey A. Gough and Tim M. Reynolds

Following two pilot studies, Clinical Pathology Accreditation (CPA) accreditation was introduced to UK pathology laboratories in 1992. Since then, significant numbers of…

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1105

Abstract

Following two pilot studies, Clinical Pathology Accreditation (CPA) accreditation was introduced to UK pathology laboratories in 1992. Since then, significant numbers of laboratories have undergone accreditation but many have never applied. We carried out a postal survey of 145 accredited laboratories in the UK to independently determine the opinions of laboratory managers/clinicians about CPA and whether accreditation had produced any significant benefits to pathology services. Ninety‐three replies were received (64 per cent) a good response to an unsolicited questionnaire. Most laboratories felt accreditation by CPA had resulted in better laboratory performance with more documentation and better health and safety and training procedures. CPA accreditation was believed to provide useful information by approximately 50 per cent of laboratories but was also felt by a significant proportion of laboratories to be over‐bureaucratic, inefficient and expensive (46 of 93 respondents). Many complaints were voiced about the excessive paperwork that CPA generated and there was also a significant body of opinion that felt that CPA assessed areas were the domain of other regulatory bodies such as the CPSM, IBMS and HSE.

Details

British Journal of Clinical Governance, vol. 5 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1466-4100

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1995

Sunil Babbar

Inadequate measurement capability can place a heavy burden ofimplicit costs on manufacturers – even drive them out of business.It can have serious consequences for…

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597

Abstract

Inadequate measurement capability can place a heavy burden of implicit costs on manufacturers – even drive them out of business. It can have serious consequences for stakeholders in industry, commerce or science. High‐technology manufacturing must ensure a high level of precision in measurements, often to as much as a millionth of an inch. In seeking such high levels of precision, measurement laboratories often use traceability as a key precision criterion. Two comprehensive sets of measurements made over time by high‐precision laboratories on gauge blocks are used to explore the scope of traceability in ensuring high‐precision measurements. Significant differences were found between the high‐precision primary laboratories traceable to the National Institute of Standards and Technology in the USA. Explores general implications of such between‐laboratory differences and makes recommendations for secondary laboratories and stakeholders in dimensional metrology seeking to ensure a high level of precision in their measurements.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

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Article
Publication date: 9 February 2015

Dawlat A. Miligy

Laboratory data are extensively used in medical practice; consequently, laboratory errors have a tremendous impact on patient safety. Therefore, programs designed to…

Abstract

Purpose

Laboratory data are extensively used in medical practice; consequently, laboratory errors have a tremendous impact on patient safety. Therefore, programs designed to identify and reduce laboratory errors, as well as, setting specific strategies are required to minimize these errors and improve patient safety. The purpose of this paper is to identify part of the commonly encountered laboratory errors throughout our practice in laboratory work, their hazards on patient health care and some measures and recommendations to minimize or to eliminate these errors.

Design/methodology/approach

Recording the encountered laboratory errors during May 2008 and their statistical evaluation (using simple percent distribution) have been done in the department of laboratory of one of the private hospitals in Egypt. Errors have been classified according to the laboratory phases and according to their implication on patient health.

Findings

Data obtained out of 1,600 testing procedure revealed that the total number of encountered errors is 14 tests (0.87 percent of total testing procedures). Most of the encountered errors lay in the pre- and post-analytic phases of testing cycle (representing 35.7 and 50 percent, respectively, of total errors). While the number of test errors encountered in the analytic phase represented only 14.3 percent of total errors. About 85.7 percent of total errors were of non-significant implication on patients health being detected before test reports have been submitted to the patients. On the other hand, the number of test errors that have been already submitted to patients and reach the physician represented 14.3 percent of total errors. Only 7.1 percent of the errors could have an impact on patient diagnosis.

Practical implications

The findings of this study were concomitant with those published from the USA and other countries. This proves that laboratory problems are universal and need general standardization and bench marking measures.

Originality/value

Original being the first data published from Arabic countries that evaluated the encountered laboratory errors and launch the great need for universal standardization and bench marking measures to control the laboratory work.

Details

International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, vol. 28 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0952-6862

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Article
Publication date: 14 June 2021

Cláudia C.E. Muiambo, Isabel M. Joao and Helena V.G. Navas

The purpose of this paper is to make a lean assessment of a chemical analyst training laboratory in a higher education institution and identify the main types of waste on…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to make a lean assessment of a chemical analyst training laboratory in a higher education institution and identify the main types of waste on a daily basis and understand the lean maturity of the laboratory and establish priority areas of intervention to make the laboratory leanest.

Design/methodology/approach

A single descriptive case study methodology was used to carry out the lean laboratory evaluation. The lean manufacturing waste terminology was adapted to a lean analytical laboratory environment, and a lean waste assessment step-by-step procedure was developed to reach the study goal.

Findings

Three types of waste (i.e. transport, waiting and defects) were the main contributors of the problem. The Pareto analysis results showed that 37.5% of the different types of waste contributed to almost 51.4% of the problems. The case study allowed on diagnosing wastes, understanding the lean maturity in a teaching laboratory setting and priority areas of intervention

Practical implications

Some data collection methods were used, and tools were developed to answer the research questions. A waste measurement instrument was created to evaluate lean waste in a chemical analytical laboratory, and a lean classification scheme was built to understand the lean maturity of the laboratory. The lessons learnt of the lean assessment in a teaching laboratory and the developed tools will be helpful for future research and for practitioners in a teaching chemical analytical laboratory setting.

Originality/value

The number of lean assessment studies in teaching laboratories is not very significant, and this work contributes to overcome this gap illustrating the lean waste assessment foundation with a step-by-step procedure and tools used in a teaching laboratory to perform a lean assessment and identify opportunities for improvement. A generic roadmap to lean laboratory waste assessment and continuous improvement is proposed with the key elements to take into consideration.

Details

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-4166

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Book part
Publication date: 12 October 2015

Les Kirkup

A review of the first year physics laboratory program in 1991 at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) revealed that student laboratory experiences did not: resemble…

Abstract

A review of the first year physics laboratory program in 1991 at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) revealed that student laboratory experiences did not: resemble the practice of physicists; give a realistic picture of the contribution of physics to everyday life, or; enhance students’ capabilities of broad value, such as their communication skills. Physics academics at UTS committed themselves to reforming students’ laboratory experiences with inquiry-oriented learning as a center-piece of the reform. This chapter explores the drivers that led to the reconceptualization of the role of the laboratory in the undergraduate curriculum and the strategies and processes we adopted over more than 20 years to embed inquiry-oriented activities into first year physics laboratory programs.

Details

Inquiry-Based Learning for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (Stem) Programs: A Conceptual and Practical Resource for Educators
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-850-2

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Book part
Publication date: 11 August 2014

Michael A. Katovich and Shing-Ling S. Chen

This paper provides a general comparison between the ethos, methodological mission, and theoretical standpoint of the New Iowa School, established by Carl Couch and his…

Abstract

This paper provides a general comparison between the ethos, methodological mission, and theoretical standpoint of the New Iowa School, established by Carl Couch and his students and Second Life, a three dimensional virtual world that invites particular forms of sociation. Despite differences in orientation and purpose, as well as biases in communication, we propose that the methodological and conceptual emphasis underlying the research generated from New Iowa School experimental studies can provide a useful framework for research into the virtual worlds created in Second Life. In the course of citing similarities and differences between the New Iowa School and Second Life, we also note that contrived worlds in laboratories and virtual worlds in user domains not only have relevant analogical processes to outside, in situ social worlds, but consist of social stages for performances that have application to the various social stages constructed by actors in the real world. In conclusion, we suggest that the New Iowa School and Second Life represent different but compatible realities in their own right, that the conceptual depth associated with the New Iowa School can inform research into Second Life interactions, and that each offer insights into the external worlds inhabited by real actors who navigate across time and space in their everyday lives.

Details

Symbolic Interaction and New Social Media
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-933-1

Keywords

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