The Challenge of Growth
As we expand to that magic number that says it is time to look for a second venue, I have to admit that growing pains make life very interesting. This is a time when creating systems are so important. I have found that the more systems I have in place the better we can duplicate what is successful in our lab and eliminate what does not work.
The first thing I did was review my quality assurance. QA is not only for accreditation; it is also to find the strengths and weaknesses in our program and change them when necessary. In our case, the biggest issues seem to be room temperature and reading physician turnaround time. I need to find ways to change the policies and create systems that will allow the second lab to work as efficiently as the original lab.
I have reviewed my policies and procedures and will update them to accommodate being in more than one location. I realize these need to work whether they are in place at two locations or 10 locations. That's the difference between being a small business and something bigger. Of course it is not "my" business. But I think of any place I work as something I have ownership in. That gives me the inspiration I need to do my best all the time.
Because of the temperature issue I am asking that we have a fan in all the rooms and that we keep the temperature warmer. I also reviewed with technicians a way to deal with sweat artifact, such as a cool damp cloth on the back of the neck and uncovering the patients rather than immediately decreasing the temperature in the room.
For the turnaround time I am not sure there is a great deal I can do other than keep in mind when the reading doctor is on call. I can also email the doctor at the three-day and five-day mark. As always I am open to other people's suggestions and will open it up to staff.
It is difficult to grow. I find this a bit nerve racking trying to do this with as few hiccups as possible. But as the saying goes, "If you are not growing you are dying."