Thursday, April 25, 2013

Improving the Medication Refill Process through Standard Work: CCRMC Rapid Improvement Event (Kaizen) Report Outs Tomorrow

This week's Rapid Improvement Event (Kaizen) is working to streamline the process of refilling medications.  

The improvement team is testing the most effective combination of manpower, materials and machinery in the process to develop "Standard Work" to improve the medication refill process in our system. I am often asked how we can have Standard Work and continuously improve at the same time? Taiichi Ohno described Standard Work as "the most effective" approach until the standard is improved. This, he said, is done through a continuous process called kaizen or, as we refer to it, a rapid improvement using Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles that are designed and tested by front-line staff, patients and family members. I'll write more on Standard Work and its role in continuous improvement in an upcoming post.

So what is the Contra Costa team up to this week? 
The team is hard at work developing Standard Work for our Medication Refill Rewrite Desk. Our Rewrite Desk helps to process refill requests received from retail pharmacies. A multidisciplinary team of pharmacy staff, nurses, providers, and our patient partner, Sylvy, have come together to test ideas aimed at reducing the amount of time patients have to wait for their refills.  By developing Standard Work for our Rewrite Desk they predict they will also reduce the amount of time that our Health Home Coordinators spend working on patient requests related to medication.  One example the team is looking at is eliminating faxes between our Rewrite staff and our clinics through the optimization of our ccLink (EHR) messaging capabilities.  This is only one example of many tests being conducted this week. To learn more, keep an eye out for my post with the tests and results in the coming days. Better yet, join us for one of the Report Out presentations tomorrow!

More very soon,
Contra Costa Regional Medical Center and Health Centers Rapid Improvement Event Report Outs:
Friday April 26, 2013

West County Health Center
13601 San Pablo Ave
San Pablo, CA 94806
7:45am - 8:15am

Contra Costa Regional Medical Center Lobby
2500 Alhambra Avenue
Martinez, CA 94553
10:00am - 10:30am

Pittsburg Health Center
2311 Loveridge Road,
Pittsburg, CA 94565
12:15am - 12:45am