Thursday, May 13, 2010

Leaning forward

We have an old pharmacy on one side of our campus, and it is time to rehabilitate it. We decided to use Lean principles in designing the new space. To do this, we pulled together a team of people, virtually anyone who touches the pharmacy or its products to look at work flows, find waste, and design a future state.

Part of that analysis is a "process failure mode effects analysis," which is basically a risk mitigation technique. Especially for a critical area like the pharmacy, you want to anticipate in advance where failures in process are likely to occur, so you can design the work flow to minimize those.

But this assignment also required a view of how the actual physical facility would work. So we used an empty floor of a neighboring building and built a full-scale mock-up using cardboard boxes and the like. Then people simulated the new work flow to keep refining the plan.

Here's a video showing some scenes from this exercise. If you can't see the video, click here.


Anonymous said...

Will this be open to the public or just patients?

Anonymous said...

It si not a public pharamcy. It is just for internal hospital purposes.

Anonymous said...

What an utterly revolutionary idea from an administration - ask the people who will be using the space to design it, and actually enable them to simulate it. If I worked there, I would think I had died and gone to heaven.

nonlocal MD

Unknown said...

Very well done! The application of these strategies to healthcare workflow and facility design are key to improved patient outcomes and staff satisfaction. As a healthcare architect in Pittsburgh, I have used this strategy with outstanding results. Thanks for evangelizing the message.

Mark Graban said...

What a great view into something we often call "3P" in the lean world - Production Preparation Process. Not a great name for heathcare, but it's such a great method.

When I've seen front-line staff have the chance to design or redesign their space with lean principles you get such good results. Too many organizations allow the boss to make the decisions or to let an architect throw in a cookie cutter layout that might not work in that particular hospital or clinic.

We have to purposefully design processes and space, not just let them evolve.

Thanks for sharing this, Paul.