Lean/Six Sigma Helps Streamline EDs

Nursing Spectrum- Career Fitness Online

Here is a nice case study about the application of Lean, written by a nurse. Note for the IBM-er’s, this has nothing to do with layoffs or offshoring. This seems to be around real Lean.

The nurses and the hospital are orienting themselves around patient needs and patient values. Quality, Safety, Efficiency. On the efficiency front:

“Just think how much more efficient it would be if we kept the monitor leads in the same place in every room,” says Jody Lazarus, RN, BSN, MBA, CCTC, an ED clinical performance improvement analyst working with Florida Hospital. “It’s simple Lean concept standardization, not rocket science.”

She’s right, it’s not rocket science. I don’t think any of us lean folks would be offended by that. Good lean practices like 5S don’t require lots of statistical analysis. A lot of seems like “common sense” once you know to look at things in a lean way.

A better example of patient focus:

“Lean forced us to look at that ED experience from the patient perspective,” says Lazarus, who heads up Florida Hospital’s Lean/Six Sigma program. “We began a pilot program at the Altamonte Springs campus in March 2004 and conducted surveys in an effort to determine what Lean calls the ‘voice of the customer.’ We asked what patients wanted most when they came to the ED, and the overwhelming response was they wanted to see a doctor. So then we looked at the traditional ED model to see what we could change to shorten the time it took to get the doctor in to see the patient.”

The article continues to describe how they combined lean and Six Sigma methodologies and how they got staff on board. Good reading. Sounds like great results and a great start with continuous improvement (whichever label you want to put on it).

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Mark Graban's passion is creating a better, safer, more cost effective healthcare system for patients and better workplaces for all. Mark is a consultant, author, and speaker in the "Lean healthcare" methodology. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. His most recent project is an book titled Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also the VP of Improvement & Innovation Services for the technology company KaiNexus.

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