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Talon Helps Blood Centers Follow Lean Six Sigma

January 19, 2017 | by Brian Shoenfeld

Continuous improvement initiatives that reduce expenses, optimize operational workflow, and improve the bottom line are growing in popularity among blood centers.

Job postings for Lean Six Sigma Black Belts are on the rise, and major blood centers have already taken steps to implement the improvement initiatives they have discovered as a result of this methodology. Let’s start from the beginning.

What is Lean Six Sigma?

Lean Six Sigma is a combination of both Lean and Six Sigma practices which seek to create the most efficient system possible by eliminating waste.

The difference between Lean and Six Sigma is in the way they identify the underlying cause of that waste.

Lean practitioners believe waste comes from unnecessary steps in the operation process which fail to provide value to the finished product or service. Six Sigma followers insist waste is a result of variation within workflows.

Organizations quickly discovered neither one was better than the other and both were required to achieve maximum revenue.

As a result, the hybrid Lean Six Sigma was born. The idea is to eliminate waste by following a consistent fully-vetted process to remove unnecessary steps.

How Does This Relate to Blood Centers?

Like every other company, blood centers have various processes in place. One of the most important is their process for collecting on-site blood product donations.

The Pre-Lean Six Sigma process for collecting these on-site donations may include:


  • Arriving on-site in coach buses loaded with staff, machines, and supplies. This means limited donor throughput capacity, higher fuel and maintenance costs, and potential inconvenience for the donor.
  • Arriving on-site in vans or box trucks loaded with supplies packed in bulky and heavy containers. This means more full-time equivalents (FTEs), extensive handling of supplies, and intensive manual labor during setup and breakdown.
  • Making multiple trips between the vehicle and the setup location. This means longer wait times and limits on capacity for donations and time on site.
  • Moving slowly to prevent equipment damage. This means potential injuries to team members and potential repair costs to costly Apheresis machines.

All of these inefficiencies can be addressed with a Lean Six Sigma solution from Talon.

What Can Talon Do to Help?

Talon has engineered a Secure Apheresis Machine medical cart (SAM MedCart™) that dramatically improves your operational model and processes, to align with the Lean Six Sigma methodology.

The Talon SAM MedCart™:

  • Reduces travel expenses and overhead with a smaller footprint suitable for vans vs. box trucks
  • Requires fewer FTEs by reducing manual labor
  • Improves workflow allowing you to spend less time at donation sites
  • Improves the life of your apheresis machine by protecting them throughout transport and operation

Our solution has been implemented at Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center as part of their Lean Six Sigma initiative and can help your blood center as well.

Get started and Contact a National Account Manager Today!

About the Author

Brian Shoenfeld

Brian joined Talon in 2014 and brought with him a proven track record for project managing, product development, and increasing operational efficiency. Using his knowledge of STEM, business prowess, and healthcare experience, Brian leads Talon’s operational improvements to create better products and improved customer service. When he’s not in the office, Brian spends time with his wife and two sons and cheers on Syracuse.