Continuing our spread of Lean process improvements, a team recently assembled to use the 5S process to redesign the supply rooms in two of our medical intensive care unit ("MICU") supply rooms. The objective was to standardize the arrangement and display of supplies in the two rooms, which are on two separate floors. Beyond making each room more efficient, we wanted them to be identical because the same staff people work in the two units. It is better for them to see supplies in the same configuration in the two venues. The plan was to organize items to make the supply collection process more intuitive and also to require less motion. After all, these are intensive care units, and people can often be in a hurry when supplies are needed. Time matters.
And beyond one quick fix, we were looking for sustainability, an organization and process that would keep the units well organized and neat well into the future.
As always, this Lean project was multidisciplinary, involving attending physicians, residents, nurses, respiratory therapists, patient care technicians, and our supply and distribution folks. Able assistance was provided by our Business Transformation unit (aka "Lean Team"), but also people from other units who had conducted similar improvement events on their floors.
-- 100 distinct, unnecessary items were removed from the supply rooms.
-- 86 frequently used items were converted to par items (i.e., restocked regularly, rather than being called for as needed.)
-- 100% identical supplies in the two supply rooms. See Venn diagram above for the before and after.
But, most impressive, the amount of time accumulating supplies for a given procedure was dramatically reduced. See these before and after videos of nurse Tim collecting arterial line supplies. And then view the third video for Tim's triumphal conclusion!