Mount Nittany Medical Center

Lean Clinical Laboratory and Operational Planning

HERA provided Lean laboratory and operational planning for Mount Nittany’s clinical lab to help the medical center analyze and improve operations of their current space. Special Lean training, operation analysis and product and waste flow planning were used to meet wide-ranging organizational goals established by an earlier master plan. The team worked toward a wide range of project goals:

  • Analyze current state to identify opportunities for future state improvements.
  • Create an efficient clinical space that uses Lean analysis to provide future flexibility.
  • Accommodate specimen transport to lab, including couriers and a centralized receiving.
  • Accommodate Lean specimen flow and operational improvements within lab.
  • Eliminate redundancies in staffing and materials management.
  • Allow for new strategies such as post analytical specimen storage and lab service.
  • Integrate improvements to staff assignments and create a positive staff experience.
  • Challenge current state and provide innovation and new delivery model.

The clinical lab program includes receiving, chemistry, hematology, coagulation/urinalysis, immunology, microbiology, histology/cytology, blood bank and program support.

After analyzing current state conditions and identifying opportunities for improvement HERA developed ideal specimen flow, space program, blocking options and key characteristics of the future state lab. The team created future state workflows to show opportunities for improvement, best practices and industry trends.

The new layout increases functionality; reduces redundancies; and improves lab processes and turnround times. It also integrates administrative spaces with lab functions; operations with cross trained staff; and huddle space in the lab. These strategies facilitate better group communication while also providing places of respite.


State College, Pennsylvania


12,250 GSF


Clinical lab programming, operational analysis, Lean analysis, lab planning and design and budget modeling