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LEAN HEALTHCARE: Departmental Supply Ordering And Storage

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LEAN HEALTHCARE: Departmental Supply Ordering And Storage. How the Journey Started…. IRHA offered the opportunity for member hospitals to participate in Lean Training in the 2011 -2012 cycle. Woodlawn Hospital sent 5 people to Yellow Belt training, 1 person to Green Belt t raining

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how the journey started

How the Journey Started…

IRHA offered the opportunity for member hospitals to participate in Lean Training in the 2011 -2012 cycle.

Woodlawn Hospital sent

5 people to Yellow Belt training,

1 person to Green Belt training

1 person to Black Belt training

by the numbers
By The Numbers…
  • 20 critical access and rural hospitals from across the state participated in this project in its entirety
  • 3 Focused Project Areas:
    • Emergency Department Throughput (8 hospitals)
    • Transitions of Care (9 hospitals)
    • Readmissions (3 hospitals)
  • 7 different hospitals used as training locations
by the numbers1
By The Numbers…
  • 85 people attended a 1-day Executive Training Workshop
  • 53 people attended at least one of the pre-training webinars
  • 140 people attended the 4-day Yellow Belt Trainings
  • 41 people attended the 2-day Green Belt Trainings
  • 20 people attended the 1-day Black Belt Training
lean certification project
Lean Certification Project
  • Woodlawn Hospital, Rochester

ED Patient Throughput

      • Discharge Summary revision, testing, staff education completed. Staff pleased with the easier format and can more thoroughly document in the available text box.
      • ED Assessment forms have been shortened from 6 pages to 2-3 pages each
      • ED Log data entry by ED staff decreased by 100% due to new automated ad hoc reports
moving forward

Moving Forward...

Woodlawn Hospital has made a conscious effort to continue using Lean methodologies and tools to make a difference in our hospital since the completion of the original ED project.

on board with lean

Presentation to Leadership Team

  • Administration support
  • Lean Project Request Form
    • Here to help
    • Departments invite Lean in
5s project pilot ob

Project Request: Supplies

  • Trouble getting supplies returned
    • Yellow sticker system
  • Issues with par levels
  • Supplies in multiple locations, some not near point of use
  • Special request items not included in sticker system that nursing staff has to track and order
first things first
  • Compile team
    • OB Manager, Materials Management Director, Materials clerk, OB nurses (as available during their shift)
  • Education of project team
    • Lean
    • Changes made with them, not to them
    • Quick Overview of 5 S for Nurses
data collection

Voice of the Customer/Stakeholder (VOCS)

  • Interview those closest to the process
    • Nursing staff
    • Comments
      • “Not enough storage space”
      • “We don’t get supplies returned very well”
      • “Delay patient care until the item is located”
data collection continued
  • Process Flow Map
    • Time spent on inventory, ordering, restocking supplies
      • OB staff spent 146 min/week
        • Materials spent 47 min/week
  • Time to Find 5 Items
    • OB nurses: 50.1 seconds
    • Non-dept staff: 7 min 11.8 sec
  • Take “Before” pictures
  • Simple process of organizing supplies/equipment for improved workflow and better use of resources
  • Sort:
    • All unneeded items, equipment, supplies removed from area
  • Set in Order:
    • A place for everything, everything in its place
  • Shine:
    • Keep items and the work area clean
  • Standardize:
    • Apply methods consistently across all areas
  • Sustain:
    • Becomes a part of the culture (this is the difficult part)
  • Remove from area unnecessary supplies/equipment
    • Red Tags/Unneeded Items Log
      • Staff completed
sort continued
SORT, continued
  • Comparison of current stock and par levels with annual usage report to identify over-stocking
    • Established a 3-day par
      • Restock M, W, F (3 days gets through weekend)
    • Consider staff feelings and experience
set in order
  • A place for everything and everything in its place
    • Nursery items remained in the nursery
    • Medication supplies remained by the Pyxis
    • Supplies were restocked from six locations
      • Decreased to two
      • Supply remains at point of use, but is stocked from central location
    • Looked at how items are distributed from Materials
      • Syringes-- Box v. Each
  • Methods applied consistently
    • Color coding established hospital-wide
    • Requisition list cleaned up
      • Eliminate unused products
      • Reassessed special order items
        • If ordered frequently, move to stock
  • Part of the culture
    • Communication Board
    • Bins used allowed for just enough space for par levels set
      • Adjust pars as necessary
      • Give staff a voice
  • Clean
    • As you move supplies, the dust will fly
the results
The Results
  • Return of supplies in OB totaled $1,545
  • Time spent on supply management (weekly)
    • OB: 146 min decreased to 5 min
    • Materials: 64 min increased to 111 min
    • 40% decrease in total time spent in all dept
    • Shift from Nursing staff to Materials clerk (better use of talent)
  • Time to Find 5 Items
    • OB Nurses from 50.1 sec to 43.7 sec (12.77% )
    • Outside Staff from 7 min 11.8 sec to 74.8 sec (82.68% )








spread of 5s project
Spread of 5S project


  • Supplies centralized
  • Secure
  • Restocked by Materials
    • Duplicate orders stopped
spread of 5s project1
Spread of 5S project


  • Created a centralized supply room
  • Med Room
  • Previously 8 areas for supplies
  • Decreased to 2 and restocked by Materials, not Nursing
  • Able to return a patient room to patient care from equipment storage
spread of 5s project2
Spread of 5S project

Med/SurgMed Room

Interruption-Free Zone around Pyxis

All medication supplies and sharps kept here

spread of 5s project3
Spread of 5S project



Spread of 5S project

Kanban Cards

Standardization of Rooms

  • Device that clearly triggers action
  • Staff knows where everything is and pars stay set
sustainability of 5s project results
Sustainability of 5S project results

Departmental Follow-up

  • System promotes adherence to par levels
  • Changes in supplies
  • Pars/Update Order sheets
  • Fire Codes 
sustainability of 5s project results1
Sustainability of 5S project results

Difficulties we’ve encountered along the way…

  • Staffing/Time Constraints
  • Budget Constraints
  • Data Collection
    • Found our way back

Dawn Gabrich, MS, ATC, LAT – Rehabilitative Services Coordinator – Lean Black Belt - Woodlawn HospitalCarrie Bowers, MBA – Senior Accountant – Lean Green Belt - Woodlawn Hospital Sheila Kelty, DHA, FACHE – Lean Six Sigma Black Belt - Purdue Healthcare Advisors – kelty@purdue.edu