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Lab Business Process Storyboard

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Basic business process steps:

  1. Lab work requested for a subject (patient, animal, environmental location, etc)
  2. Specimen collected from subject
  3. Specimen accessioned by lab (i.e., enters lab testing process)
  4. Specimen processed into testable samples
  5. Samples tested by lab
  6. Results from lab testing obtained, interpreted, and approved/authorized
  7. Results returned to requester
  8. Requester determines next steps and course of action

Discussion

While the above list shows the performed steps in a basic lab ordering/fulfillment process, each of these steps may be performed by different actors in any one specific process; for example, a Clinician, Laboratorian, Technician (e.g., phlebotomist), Investigation Team Member, the Subject (patient), or a person responsible for a Subject may collect the specimen. In addition, the steps may be performed at different locations; specimens may be collected at the point of care, at the subject's location (e.g., at a patient's home, "in the field", etc), in the testing lab, or at a specimen collection organization. The steps may also be performed in different order or not performed at all under given, specific conditions - a specimen may not require any processing prior to being tested or a specimen is assigned an accession number prior to being collected if it is being collected in the lab. Finally, the involvement of an electronic system to capture the information and facilitate the business process is not assumed in the above steps and may not be present depending upon the conditions under which each step is performed.

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