Mark Graban's leanblog.org - Lean Healthcare, Lean Hospitals, Healthcare Kaizen, Lean Thinking, Lean Manufacturing, Toyota Production System

Band-Aiding the Process – Literally

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Unfortunately, healthcare professionals often aren't given the tools they need to do their jobs properly. People are forced into workarounds and corner cutting, or they are forced into wasting time by running around to find equipment — or working equipment. Considering how important their work is, we need to make more of an effort to ensure they have the supplies, equipment, and information they need to provide the best patient care.

Below is a picture from my archives – of a piece of nursing equipment (a hand held medication scanner) that was literally held together with a band aid.

You might call this “creativity over capital,” but I call it not properly supporting your team.

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Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. 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 book is 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. He is currently writing his next book, tentatively titled Measures of Success.

2 Comments
  1. Munro's Safety Apparel says

    Seeing this makes me nervous what else is holding this hospital together! It’s amazing the corners people will cut (sometimes because they have no choice) when they don’t have the proper equipment. This might not be the best solution, but it was probably the best available solution at time. Hopefully they don’t have to do this often!

    1. Mark Graban says

      The staff members were doing the best the can. Seeing a band-aid like this prompts me to ask:

      – Why isn’t there a better process for getting equipment fixed or repaired?
      – If there’s a good process, why don’t staff know about it?
      – Are the managers and charge nurses responsive to situations like this where equipment is falling apart?

      It’s a systems issue, not an issue with the front line staff “cutting corners” in this case.

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