Saskatoon Lean Projects Underscore Patient Focus

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Saskatchewan patients are seeing positive results as Lean implementation continues across the province. Close to 300 Lean projects are currently underway in the health system.

“As we move forward to improve quality, access, and efficiency in health care for patients, we continue to be guided by our commitment to putting the patient first in everything we do,”

Health Minister Dustin Duncan said.

“As we continue our journey, we can be proud that Saskatchewan is the first province in Canada to apply Lean across its entire health care system.”

“I am enormously excited about the improvements that are being made as we engage patients, staff and physicians in making our care more patient- and family-centred, safer and more efficient,”

Saskatoon Health Region President and CEO Maura Davies said.

“The province’s investment in Lean is giving us training, new tools and improvement methods to transform our care and our workplaces.”

For example, three projects in Saskatoon have already achieved significant improvements in care:

  • Patients brought to St. Paul’s Hospital by EMS ambulance are now transitioned to nurse care 67 per cent faster. This reduction from 37 minutes to 18 was accomplished through standard work, improved handover processes and more efficient use of space.
  • Parents in labour now register directly in Labour and Delivery on the fourth floor of Royal University Hospital, rather than registering in the Emergency Department. This reduces their walking distance by 85 per cent and removes one stop in their journey to receiving care and becoming parents.
  • Payroll errors and employee time spent on payroll flow sheets were reduced in a project at the Irene and Leslie Dubé Centre for Mental Health. This saves taxpayer resources, allows staff to focus on value-added work and improves employee satisfaction through faster and more accurate pay.

As a result of Lean projects, other significant improvements are occurring across the province. For example, using Lean principles, the Five Hills Health Region has embarked on a design phase that will lead to the opening of a new innovative, patient-centred regional hospital in Moose Jaw. In Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region, patients and staff at Four Directions Community Health Centre in North Central Regina are starting to see the benefits of the Lean process. The centre has implemented a same-day appointment program and the number of patients attended to has risen by 56 per cent without an increase in staffing. In addition, by streamlining paperwork, waiting times were reduced, allowing staff to provide more personalized care to patients.

Health care providers, physicians, leaders and staff are now participating in focused quality improvement projects to ensure that Lean and continuous improvement are embedded in Saskatchewan’s health system. More than 1,000 quality improvement projects will occur across the health system to improve patient experiences and reduce errors.

For more information, please visit the Ministry of Health website at link


For more information, contact:

Tyler McMurchy
Phone: 306-787-4083

Linda Walker
Saskatoon Health Region
Phone: 306-655-3476

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