But take a look anyway, if you have an interest in process improvement in hospitals. This is a collection of my best posts on this topic.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Save Time; Improve Patient Care; Improve Work Life

Direct and unedited from our problem log, a great example of a call-out and problem solving from BIDMC SPIRIT:

Type of Problem -- Save Time; Improve Patient Care; Improve Work Life
Campus -- West
Setting -- Inpatient Ward
Location of Problem --Farr 7

I could not find a pulse oximeter to check my patient's oxygen saturation. There were none in the equipment cubby which is a section of our breakroom remote from patient care rooms. I wasted a lot of time going from patient room to room until I found one.
Suggested Solution -- Define a specific location that is more convenient to the nurses' and pcts' work flow
Person Describing Problem -- Beth Morrison

Root Cause
Why were none available? It is not a supply issue, there are 7 pulse oximeters for the floor. Why could Beth not find a pulse oximeter? None were in the storage area. Why are the oximeters not returned to the storage area? It is in an inconvenient location. Why when the oximeters are used are they not returned to the storage area? In the past we had a locked equipment room that was centrally located. On our new floor Farr 7, we do not have an equipment storage room and have designated a small cubby hole in the staff breakdown to store equipment. It is inconvenient in relation to the work area. Also, it is in the breakroom so sometimes it is difficult to move past staff who are sitting eating a meal.

Solution (after investigation)
A cubby hole in the nurses's station is not being used. It's location in very convenient for small equipment storage. Electrical outlets and shelving need to be installed. Once that work is complete, I will apply LEAN principles and outline with black tape and label each area for the specific equipment.

Action Plan (who, what, by when)
1. Kathy Hussain met with staff to brainstorm new, convenient location. Complete.
2. Kathy worked with her Operations Coordinator Debbie McGrath to discuss needed work. Complete.
3. Kathy discussed renovation with her director Jane Foley. Approval given to move forth with project. Complete
4. Kathy and Debbie met with Brendon Raftery and Chris Kimball on March 17th to scope the work. Complete.
5. Electrician installed 20 electrical outlets. Complete
6. Carpentry measured and ordered required shelving.
7. Currently awaiting installation of shelving.
8. Once shelving installed- will outline placement of equipment so that each piece of equipment has a designated and corresponding location.

Investigation -- Closed (Complete w/ root cause, solution, action plan complete)

Beth- thank you so much for calling out this problem. Your willingness to discuss this has lead to more efficiency and less wasted time. As a side benefit, the relocation of the equipment will allow us to recapture space in the breakroom, relieving the crowding and giving the Farr 7 staff a more pleasant breakroom.- Kathy

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