Monday, 15 September 2014

The Lean Laboratory and Environmental Monitoring

Running an efficient laboratory requires the laboratory manager to balance the important aspects of compliance alongside the need to manage a budget and often scarce resources. Efficiencies can be generated by applying the philosophy of the “lean laboratory.” The “lean labs” approach focuses on cost control, improving sample throughput, and reviewing whether each sample tested adds value or produces meaningful information. Addressing this latter point can sometimes result in sample reduction.

In terms of the volume of samples processed throughout quality control laboratories, it is invariably the microbiology laboratory that processes the highest number of samples. Aside from raw materials and intermediate and finished product samples, this is a consequence of the sampling of water systems and the environmental monitoring of cleanrooms. Large facilities, with many cleanrooms, can generate tens of thousands of environmental monitoring samples each year.

To explore the lean labs concept, drawing on the context of environmental monitoring, Tim Sandle has written a paper for Journal of Validation Technology.

The paper introduces the concept of the lean laboratory and then illustrates how the principle of lean labs can be applied. This illustration is through a case-study that outlines an approach for the removal of samples from the environmental monitoring program for areas of a lower classification. The emphasis is upon removing samples in such a way that the absence of the data does not detract from the overall assessment regarding the status of the cleanroom.


The reference is:

Sandle, T. (2014) The Lean Laboratory and Its Application for the Review of Environmental Monitoring Samples, Journal of Validation Technology, Vol. 20, Issue 2, Jun 2014. Published on-line.

For further details see: IVT or contact Tim Sandle

Posted by Tim Sandle

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