Patients and staff at Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region’s (RQHR’s) Four Directions Community Health Centre in North Central Regina are starting to see the benefits of the Lean process.
Four Directions Community Health Centre offers a broad range of services to support the overall health needs of individuals and families.
In June, the centre had the capacity to attend to 171 out of 262 patients seeking care. By August, the number of patients attended to had risen by 56 percent. This was done without an increase in staffing. The staff completed three rapid process improvement workshops (RPIWs) in June, July and August as part of the Lean process. Staff and patients are already benefiting. The implementation of a same-day appointment program has also allowed more patients to be seen in a shorter period of time.
“Many of our patients walk from their homes to our clinic for service, so they just stay put even if they have to wait three hours to see a nurse,”
Four Directions primary health care manager Laveena Tratch said.
“Now, they can come in or call, make an appointment and then know they will be seen then, or at a time later that day. It really cuts down on patient wait times in the clinic.”
Lean empowers employees to find ways to improve processes to make their work more efficient, and benefits patients. Streamlining paperwork processes, for example, can cut down waiting times and allow staff to provide more personalized care to patients.
“By implementing a new type of software,we were able to speed up the printing time of lab documents from seven minutes to a matter of seconds,”
chronic care nurse Michelle Holiday said.
“One of our goals is to reduce the amount of administrative time required so we can spend more one-on-one time with the patient.”
“This has been an amazing opportunity and we had fun doing this,”
nurse practitioner Kelly Lang said.
“The Lean processes made us think differently about how we do things and encouraged us to try new ways of doing things.”
Results from the RPIWs at Four Directions will help inform the development of the Meadows Primary Health Care Clinic, to be located across from Regina’s Pasqua Hospital. As a collaborating partner in providing primary health care services to the residents of North Central, the Meadows will build on Four Directions’ success and address gaps in service by providing extended medical services on weekends.
Photo courtesy Medical Media Services, Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region