Wednesday, October 6, 2010

CCRMC Improvement Academy: 5s Reports Thursday, October 7

You may have seen teams in the medical center who are applying 5S in their work areas.

Improvement Academy Participants will report on their results on Thursday October 7 at 9 AM at CCRMC Building one, Conference Room One. All are encouraged to join.

Of note: Next week we are merging the medical staff noon conference learning sessions with the Improvement Academy. The academy will meet every Thursday at noon at CCRMC Building One, Conference Room one.

More very soon…

Here’s a review of what 5S is.

Seiri (整理) Sorting
Going through all the tools, materials, etc., in the plant and work area and keeping only essential items. Everything else is stored or discarded.

Seiton (整頓) Straighten
A key distinction between 5S and "standardized cleanup" is Seiton. Seiton is often misunderstood, perhaps due to efforts to translate into an English word beginning with "S" (such as "sort" or "straighten"). The key concept here is to order items or activities in a manner to promote work flow. For example, tools should be kept at the point of use, workers should not have to repetitively bend to access materials, flow paths can be altered to improve efficiency, etc.

Seisō (清掃) Sweeping
Systematic cleaning. At the end of each shift, the work area is cleaned up and everything is restored to its place. This makes it easy to know what goes where and have confidence that everything is where it should be. The key point is that maintaining cleanliness should be part of the daily work - not an occasional activity initiated when things get too messy.

Seiketsu (清潔) Standardizing
Standardized work practices or operating in a consistent and standardized fashion. Everyone knows exactly what his or her responsibilities are to keep above 3S's.

Shitsuke (躾) Sustaining
Maintaining and reviewing standards. Once the previous 4S's have been established, they become the new way to operate. Maintain the focus on this new way of operating, and do not allow a gradual decline back to the old ways of operating. However, when an issue arises such as a suggested improvement, a new way of working, a new tool or a new output requirement, then a review of the first 4S's as appropriate.

If you would like to get involved please let your supervisor know.


  1. Thanks for an interesting post. I'm currently a graduate student in healthcare administration and am now focusing on learning more about Lean. I just started working for a hospital and will soon be working on implementing some of these principles.

    Thanks and I'll visit your blog for more updates in the future.

  2. Good morning Anna. Great work implementing 5S. At Chugachmiut, we have added 2 S's to our process-Safety and Security. As you do, we have HIPAA compliance issues, and when we organize our workplace, we look at the security of our health records. For example, we put a dutch (double) door on one of our clinics to prevent unauthorized entry into our Health Administrative Assistant's Office. We check the accessibility to the records, and ensure that we have at least 3 lock points to access records. As for safety, we try to ensure that there are no hazards accessible to patients. It works for us, so I thought I would share it with you.

  3. Thanks Patrick.

    This is a wonderful example of building on the principles of 5S. These are challenges faced by us as well. We will look to your example to learn more and test such ideas here. We do have improvement efforts aimed at interruptionj of such breaches. I would be interested in connecting our teams to share ideas and results.