Up and Running

Posted on September 17, 2012 by

JHS has concluded a busy week of standardizing core work processes in two areas: release planning and the daily medication pass to patients. This is an exciting time as we have spent the last several months with leaders training and understanding basic lean concepts without actual changes to operational processes. With standard work designed, we can now shift the focus to training and implementation efforts. It is important to note that the training and implementation work needs to be leader led and managed. It will be refreshing to see real examples of process standardization and improvements that one could physically go and see.

Using a balanced mix of both front line staff and managers, we are laying the foundation for a daily management system. Leaders have set targets and standards, agreed on a measurement plan to track process attributes against patient requirements. guided teams in removing waste/variation, and helped design visual boards for daily team use. This has been a facilitated process in both cases with rapid design and implementation, and it will be interesting to check the results of this approach.

I have also witnessed a considerable learning process for all involved with many light bulb moments. From a cycle time and takt time data standpoint, the med pass management team is seeing and understanding what the data is telling them, but also how it will be used in actionable ways in setting daily targets, calculating demand vs. capacity, leveling workloads, and deploying staff according to a data driven production plan. It is far too often the case that data collection and analysis efforts end in either no conclusions, more confusion (and often more data collection), or failure to drive needed action. So if data is not being used, doesn’t trigger action, or quantify a gap between a target and current condition, one should wonder why it is being collected in the first place. Understanding cycle times should be used within the context of takt time, so teams can meet daily targets (e.g. today’s work today) using the ideal number of resources. It will be fascinating to see these changes implemented into the daily operations of JHS.