The Productive Ward is a framework for process improvement that is currently being implemented across 24 inpatient areas of our hospital. It focusses on the opportunities identified by front-line staff and their patients. Its success lies in the engagement and capability of ward teams and their use of data. The program and its in-house coaches train teams to use Lean Thinking – a process improvement methodology that comes from the manufacturing industry. The goal is for clinical staff to be able to spend more time with their patients.
Staff in each area spend one year implementing the “foundation modules” of the program, which are designed to build lean process improvement skills in ward staff, and then a further 20 months working on “process modules.”
The second, and by far the most popular module is the Well Organised Ward, or WOW for short. Within this module, teams focus on the location of ward equipment, the processes for using and returning items and inventory management.
As in every Productive Ward module, baseline data and understanding opportunities is a must. On Friday last week, Cheree, a nurse on 10 West, completed a day of WOW measurement. She took photos of all ward areas, critically evaluated the use of spaces and followed colleagues during common procedures.
In this photo, Cheree has captured the same nursing procedure on two different occasions. The lines are the steps that the same nurse took in order to complete the procedure. On the left, all the required items and equipment were ready and available. In this case, preparing for the procedure took two minutes. On the right, items were missing, which necessitated a trip to the front desk and a visit to the East side of the floor. In this case, it took five minutes and thirty seconds to prepare for the procedure.
This is just a snapshot of the data collected on Friday. Armed with this information, the 10 West WOWing staff can trial changes, then complete similar diagrams to determine if the changes implemented resulted in improvements, allowing staff to spend more time with their patients.
We’re sure that the improvements will wow us.
To keep up to date with Productive Ward activities, you can follow @stvincentsproductive on Instagram.