Learning to Lean: Registration Streamlined for Labour & Delivery and Imaging

As a patient representative, Deb Johnston had been on the receiving end of a testing procedure but never knew the process involved once the test was complete.

“I learned what the wait times were on the other side of things,” she explains.

Johnston participated in one of two Rapid Process Improvement Workshops (RPIWs) that took place at Saskatoon’s Royal University Hospital in March.

Johnston’s team worked on reducing the time for patients who have been in emergency and are required to come back the next day for CT scans and ultrasounds. The other team worked on eliminating the defects in registration for 4th floor maternal unit at the Royal University Hospital. Both teams worked on improved directional signage for patients to guide them through the hospital and route them to the right departments. Both teams also worked on changes in the registration process.

Johnston’s team moved registration directly to Diagnostic Imaging to reduce the time patients spend waiting in triage. The maternal team improved safety for expectant mothers by creating a new registration desk on 4th floor maternal unit. Now, instead of registering through emergency or main registration, expectant and labouring moms can go directly to the 4th floor to register between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

“Patients often have trouble finding their way from the main registration or emergency up to the 4th floor,”

explains Maura Davies RHA CEO and maternal team member.

“For our patients this is stressful, particularly for a mom in labour.”

“This methodology is an example of our new Lean based continuous improvement system that is being adopted not only in our health region but right across the province,” says Davies.

“These teams have demonstrated their thoughtful commitment many times over.”


– Originally published in Transforming Health Care Through Lean – Summer 2012. Submitted by Saskatoon Health Region

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