Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Making It Easier (and Safer) to Get the Work Done on an Inpatient Unit

In August of 2012, I wrote a blog about the 6S process. (http://ahealthydialogue.blogspot.com/2012/08/5-or-6-s-having-prepared-work-space-to.html). Since then, we have used this Lean tool to improve the work environment in a number of areas from physician office practices to the operating room support areas.

Last week, a Team led by our new Lean facilitator, Ishmel Fulton, and the Nurse Manager, Cecelia Gayhardt,  made the workplace more organized and safer on Unit 48. To refresh your memory, 6S stands for:
1.    Sort: eliminating everything not required for the work being performed.
2.    Separate: efficiently placing and arranging equipment and material.
3.    Shine: tidying and cleaning.
4.    Standardize: standardizing and continually improving the previous three.
5.    Sustain: establishing discipline in sustaining workplace organization.
6.    Safety: creating a safe work environment.

The Team applied this methodology to the manager’s office (which became an equipment room), the supply room (which became the manager’s office), the med bays, the nursing station, and the break room….all in all 506 square feet of space. They filled 3 dumpsters with “stuff” that was outdated or no longer needed. The Team added 90 new storage solutions including bins and file holders and marked them with 190 labels. They managed 16 wires to make them less of a hazard and created 31 visual controls such as signs, standardized locations and color coding.

A neat and clean workspace where everything is in its place reduces inventory costs, frees up space for other uses, eliminates some types of error, reduces motion and time searching for things and can significantly improve morale. Just look at the before and after photos!

I am very grateful for the hard work of the Unit 48 6S team. They have made it easier to get the job done. The Team will now be creating the standard work to sustain their efforts. Team members include (from left to right): Ishmel Fulton; Lilian Isabor; Cecilia Gayhardt; Christine Collier; Rikki Pullet; Susan Stevens; Courtney Hendon; Rachel Olsen; Beverly Edwards and Teresa Schorr (not pictured).


Internal Medicine Residents Demonstrate Their Knowledge
This weekend, a team from our Internal Medicine Residency Program won second place in the Doctors' dilemma contest at the Maryland Chapter of the American College of Physicians (ACP) meeting. Our Team will now be moving on to the competition at the National ACP meeting at Boston in April.

While other teams consisted of 3rd and 2nd year residents, the GBMC team consisted of three 1st year and one 2nd year resident. Our team included: Dr. In kyu Yoo (2nd year), Dr. Azharuddin Soudagar (1st Year), Dr. Faizan Babar(1st year), and Dr. Laurel Cummings (Preliminary year, Dermatology).

Please join me in congratulating our team and in wishing them luck in Boston!


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