Lean MD Office on NM TV


Local doctors cut stress

Below is a video from an Albuquerque TV news station, visiting a doctor's office that was implementing Lean. I wish I could take credit… it was work done by someone I know, actually.

The video shows one of the MDs talking about Lean — how their days are less frustrating and more predictable now. They are seeing more patients per hour, thanks to waste reduction, and are not having to stay as late. In the video, you see they have implemented 5S, visual management, and a kanban system for room supplies.

I've done similar work in a family practice setting. It's a pretty “process-free” environment, before Lean. That's not a knock on the staff. They cared a lot and worked really hard. They just hadn't been taught things that engineers or process people might take for granted. When problems occurred (such as running out of supplies in a room or not being able to find a thermometer), the staff relied on working harder and being heroic rather than fixing the underlying process (or putting one in place).

We worked to standardize the setup of the different exam rooms (supplies and materials). We set up a kanban system for the restocking of supplies to the points of use and ordering of supplies from the parent hospital and vendors. We also worked on Standardized Work for the front desk and nursing staff to support the physicians. Lean works in a setting like that, especially when you involve those doing the work.

I cringed a bit when the reporter/anchor said the 5S practices (such as tape outlines) might seem “a little retentive.” Putting tape down to mark where your water bottle should go on the desk might be a bit much.

But the reporter acknowledged that Lean was making life better for the office staff and physicians (and you'd presume for the patients, as well, as the length of a visit fell 84%…. from reducing waiting time, I'm sure).

Subscribe via RSS | Lean Blog Main Page | Podcast | Twitter @markgraban

Please check out my main blog page at www.leanblog.org

The RSS feed content you are reading is copyrighted by the author, Mark Graban.

, , , on the author's copyright.


Get New Posts Sent To You

Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.