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Posted 2 November 2023 by
Mathias Lasoen
Head of Growth Marketing

First Time Right: revitalizing laboratory operations

In the world of Six Sigma, “First Time Right” (FTR) isn’t just a catchy phrase—it’s a gold standard. For labs delivering analysis results, precision isn’t an option but a necessity and even the tiniest misstep in a process can send results into a spiral, often requiring multiple re-tests. But what does it truly mean to get it “right the first time”? How can labs accurately measure the success rate of this KPI and, furthermore, improve upon it? In this post, Mathias Lasoen explores the critical First Time Right metric and how Binocs helps laboratory teams derive immediate value from proactively monitoring their performance.

The significance of First Time Right in laboratories

Learning from failures

Every re-test or Corrective and Preventive Action (CAPA) is a lesson waiting to be learned. By maintaining consistent accuracy from the outset, labs not only enhance GxP compliance but also streamline their operations. Monitoring and understanding the root causes of failures is critical to refining the process.

Amplifying customer satisfaction

When labs utilize reliable test methods, they’re better positioned to adhere to schedules. This punctuality directly impacts Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with stakeholders, from manufacturing and supply chain to clinical operations and R&D.

Boosting analyst morale

No one enjoys performing redundant tasks, especially repeating the same actions time and again. When external factors, be they instrument failures or unclear guidelines, cause tests to fail, lab analysts bear the brunt of the frustration. Limiting the number of re-tests not only improves efficiency but also enhances job satisfaction, significantly improving employee retention rates in the lab.

Realizing cost benefits

Optimizing First Time Right KPIs is synonymous with cost savings. By eliminating non-essential tasks, labs can redirect their resources, fostering better relationships with both internal and external clients.

Challenges and solutions with First Time Right

Challenge 1: Identifying metrics

Measuring First Time Right performance is about proactive strategy, not just reactive solutions. Going beyond the basic percentage of failed tests, labs must delve deep into the causes:

  • Which test method or analysis failed?
  • What was the sample context (type, origin, etc.)?
  • What was the execution context (site, lab, analyst, instrument, shift, etc.)?
  • What was the failure context (failure reason, remarks, etc.)?

Challenge 2: Effective monitoring

Data collection is a two-way street: while it requires input, it also offers valuable insights. By establishing a streamlined system for data input, labs can ensure consistent monitoring, allowing analysts to stay motivated and informed, and driving further improvements.

Out-of-the-box actionable operations analytics: First Time Right with Binocs

With Binocs, labs can effortlessly measure the FTR percentage and pinpoint root causes of failures. Using dynamic dashboards, laboratory managers can immediately transform raw data into actionable insights.

The best part? Logging this data is a breeze. Binocs integrates seamlessly with lab workflows, auto-populating known contextual information, ensuring no detail is overlooked.

For instance, if the main cause of high failure rates in ELISA analyses is System Suitability Tests (SST failures), lab management can immediately identify and address these pain points by adjusting processes and identifying potential areas requiring additional training:

So, are you ready to elevate your lab operations? Dive deep into the challenges, harness the power of Binocs, and let’s create a seamless lab environment together. Join us for a discovery session today!