LEAN in the ED

The Mitchell Emergency Department has begun its Lean journey.  Lean is a business system that looks at improving processes on a continuous basis in order to develop a streamline, waste free process.  For Lean to be successful, front line staff and individuals immersed in the process need to be at the table helping develop the new process.  At UCM, residents are at the table helping improve processes and changing the culture of the organization.  Key process improvement activities that residents have been actively involved with are:

  1. Value Stream Mapping (VSM) –  visually depicting the entire ED flow and determining wasteful steps and value added steps
  2. 5S – improving the physical work environment to create a high performing work space
  3. 3P – designing a new layout that fits the processes we have

These improvement activities have been critical to the transformation of the department and improving metrics.  The Lean journey is a 7-10 year endeavor and there is plenty of work to be done to make the department work as efficiently as possible.  Resident involvement will be key to the success of process improvement events.  The UCM residency program provides a unique experience for residents to obtain a business skill set and put it to use in the department.