Yes, Standardized Work Saves Lives

‘Bundling’ hospital processes may help prevent infections – USATODAY.com

“Bundling hospital processes” = Standardized Work

Why isn’t every hospital doing this? Why isn’t every hospital administrator making sure this is happening?

The IHI [Institute for Healthcare Improvement] defines bundling as a group of processes needed by patients undergoing certain risky treatments. The idea is to join scientifically grounded elements that reduce the risk of serious complications, such as pneumonia or central-line infections.

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Ventilator-associated pneumonia is one of the most common hospital-acquired infections. The related bundle requires that the head of the bed be elevated, the patient be woken daily for assessment, and preventative steps be taken to prevent blood clots and ulcers.

The medical/surgical intensive care unit at BryanLGH Medical Center in Lincoln, Neb., put this bundle into effect and went 27 months without a case of the targeted infection. “Bundles aren’t rocket science, but they’re effective and they work,” says Mona Reynolds, a clinical nurse manager at BryanLGH.

Yes, standardized work and checklists aren’t glamorous… process work isn’t necessarily glamorous, but it works and it can save lives.

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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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