bioMérieux: Enhancing the Productivity of Microbiology Laboratories with the LeanSigma® Method

15 May, 2009

bioMérieux, a world leader in the field of in vitro diagnostics, is building upon its Full Microbiology Lab Automation™ (FMLA) concept by offering a new tool to its customers, LeanSigma® - today’s most recognized process and flow improvement methodology.

bioMérieux introduced the FMLA™ concept in 2008 with the goal of providing clinicians with more rapid and standardized results to allow them to prescribe the right treatment to their patients in the shortest time possible. The company also launched two new platforms to enhance lab automation, PREVI Isola™, a pre-poured media streaker designed to automate routine agar plate processing, and PREVI™ Color Gram, an automated staining system for all types of specimens. With six microbiology systems, bioMérieux has the broadest range available on the market today.

bioMérieux is expanding the FMLA concept and proposing to have its customers’ facilities receive an assessment using LeanSigma methods to help them optimize their laboratory workflow and reduce the time to results. With LeanSigma, the company is giving customers access to the very latest advances in productivity improvement tools. bioMérieux is convinced that this approach, which was first used at large manufacturing sites, can also be applied in the microbiology laboratory environment because these labs are often confronted with the same issues of process optimization and cost control as industrial sites.

Thierry Bernard, Corporate Vice President of Commercial Operations at bioMérieux, explains that "bioMérieux wants to bring the latest improvement tools used by large companies to microbiology laboratories. As part of our FMLA strategy, we are enhancing the services we provide to our customers, helping them to achieve substantial productivity gains."

LeanSigma combines Lean and Six Sigma® methods into a single, coordinated process.
The audit will make it possible to pinpoint efficiency losses in areas such as the transfer of a sample from one instrument to another, the time it takes for a technician or an instrument to complete a task, certain tools and procedures, or even laboratory ergonomics. Improvement actions can then be recommended to enhance both laboratory reaction times as well as workflow.

This new concept will be unveiled at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) held in Helsinki (Finland), May 16-19, 2009. Consultants from Guidon Performance Solutions will present the LeanSigma process at the bioMérieux booth there. A U.S. company with offices worldwide, Guidon pioneered this unique improvement tool in healthcare.

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