Monday, October 22, 2012

Leaning into it: CCRMC and HC Kaizens and 5S Events Resume

I'm excited to announce that we have resumed our focused Lean efforts and specifically our Kaizen activities. We will focus our upcoming events on improving the patients experience related to transitioning out of the hospital and back the community setting.  It’s important that we construct an environment of care that supports our staff in their work. This essential step lays the groundwork for improvement.

September 28th marked the conclusion of our most recent Rapid Improvement Event. The week focused on creating this efficient and organized system for the 4A Telemetry unit using a tool called 5S. The 5 “S’s” stand for:

1) Sort: Making sure needed items are separated from unneeded items, which are removed from the workspace
2) Set in Order:  The needed items are arranged to maximize workflow
3) Shine: Workspace is clean
4) Standardize
5) Sustain, which both create a standard program of accountability to maintain the optimal and clean work environment

People often mistake 5S for a clean-up event, but building a strong foundation for the workspace will eliminate unnecessary waste such as looking for items or excess inventory.  While at the same time developing a framework for an organized work environment that supports optimal workflow, reduces confusion and redundancy and conveys respect for our employees and the work they do.

During the week, a multi-disciplinary team consisting of front line staff and a patient partner “5S’d” our 4A Telemetry Unit. They successfully identified many areas for improvement through their energy, hard work and by consulting with people working and receiving care on 4A. The aim was to create a safe, clean and optimal workspace for everyone.  The improvement achieved during the week will be sustained by use of “5 minute 5S zones” by the people who actually work on 4A.  By developing a shared responsibility for maintaining the work space every employee will feel a sense of ownership.  After the process is refined by the front line workers and sustained for 90 days, we will be spreading the improvement to our other units. I’ve posted the slides here.

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