What difference can two teams and five days make in the life of two major hospital renovation projects?
Prairie North Health Region recently decided to find out. 3P, which stands for production preparation process, is a Lean tool used when a totally new process or design is required. Often used in facility design, the goal is to ensure quality, safety, flow and efficiencies are built into the new design. 3Ps are typically week-long events involving a team of providers, staff and patients. Prairie North recognized the opportunity to use 3P as it moves and expands two units at the Battlefords Union Hospital (BUH). A standalone endoscopy unit was being developed to fit in the space currently occupied by the intensive care unit, and an expanded ICU would move to a new space closer to the operating theatres.
To work on these two related but separate projects, two teams of multidisciplinary staff and patient representatives were brought together for the 3P event. Using value stream maps and other Lean exercises, the teams drilled down to what was really necessary to deliver high-quality, waste-free patient care. They built small-scale models of potential layouts, decided on the best approach, and then built full-size models to further test and finalize their decisions.
One of the early challenges overcome by the endoscopy team was to truly understand their patient demand, something achieved by using a cascading schedule that visually demonstrated when recovery beds would actually be in use. The newly designed endoscopy process will reduce the amount of time a patient spends at the hospital by 50 per cent and will see the number of procedures completed daily increase from 10 to 15.
For the ICU team, their focus was on creating a unit where safer patient care could be delivered. The new room design is approximately 50 per cent larger than the current layout, allowing space for all equipment required for standard procedures, as well as for bed transfers and responses to cardiac arrests to be completed safely for both patients and providers. The new space also allows for family to stay with the patient.
ICU team members demonstrate how the increased space in the patient’s room will allow for safer care to be delivered, in this case during a mock resuscitation or Code Blue.
Both teams identified other processes that must be redesigned to support and make the most of the 3P designs. Rapid process improvement workshops will be held in both units in the coming months to work on those processes. The work continues, but the benefit of this work is clear: a better, safer experience for patients, their families, and staff.
– Originally published in Transforming Health Care Through Lean – Spring 2013. Submitted by Prairie North Health Region
Featured photograph: Catherine Ness, the patient representative, presents the large scale 3D model of the stand-alone endoscopy suite during the Friday final report-out.