Error Proofing the Laboratory


Eradicating error in healthcare may seem like a Sisyphean task, yet legislators, regulators and the public in general expect error-free work from medical professionals. How to work without error is the subject of countless lectures, papers and studies, encompassing every discipline from manufacturing to service. The Toyota Production System of quality manufacturing uses the term "poke-yoke" (mistake-proofing) to describe the process of eliminating production defects. "Error-Proofing in Healthcare" will distill and discuss the essential elements of "poke-yoke", starting with defining and exploring the types of error most often encountered in the provision of medical care. Proven improvement tools and techniques for ensuring quality outputs will be presented with practical applications to place the error-proofing strategy in the context of the laboratory.

Originally presented on August 12, 2013, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Lecture Presenter

Bonnie Messinger, CPHQ, CMQ/OE (ASQ), Six Sigma Black Belt

Bonnie Messinger, CPHQ, CMQ/OE (ASQ), Six Sigma Black Belt

Process Improvement Manager, Industrial Engineering Department
ARUP Laboratories

Bonnie Messinger has worked at ARUP since its inception in 1984. She started in Specimen Processing where she supervised for five years. She joined the fledgling quality effort at ARUP in 1990 as the Quality Assurance Coordinator and became ARUP’s Quality Manager in 2003. In 2011, Ms. Messinger joined the Industrial Engineering team at ARUP as the Process Improvement Manager. Ms. Messinger is responsible for ARUP;s process improvement functions. She pursues and develops new and existing improvement systems and methods; trains and facilitates teams seeking to optimize processes and lower error rates; analyzes and presents key enterprise-wide quality indicator data; and oversees the training of ARUP’s workforce on the tools and techniques of process improvement. Ms. Messinger is a member of the National Association for Healthcare Quality and its local chapter, is a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (NAHQ), is a Six Sigma Black Belt and is certified by the American Association for Quality as a Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence.


After this presentation, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the three components of laboratory error.
  • Use the principles of process design to eliminate the potential for error.
  • Differentiate between improvement strategies for production and service.

Sponsored by:

University of Utah School of Medicine, and ARUP Laboratories