Mamawetan’s Lean Journey Takes off

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The Environmental Services Team in front of their daily visual management board. From left: Sarah Schell, Sandra Hastings, Sheryl Howat, GloriaDufresne.

While they’ve only just begun their Lean journey, Mamawetan has experienced several key learnings to date. Among them: making results or measurements visible creates urgency and transparency, and anyone can make improvements.

Staff in more than 20 program areas is using visual management boards to map processes and tackle pain points. The region is using Lean tools to better understand the demand for clerical support, including volume and type of work, where work needs to be done, and the extent of interaction with other staff and patients. For the province’s surgical mapping process, they documented the care experience of an elder from Pelican Narrows. And they’re 5S’ing up a storm.

This is no small feat considering Mamawetan doesn’t have a Kaizen Promotion Office (KPO) or dedicated consultant support. That hasn’t stopped Mamawetan from starting their Lean journey. The region started with daily visual management (DVM) and 5S to whet staff appetite for improvement and demonstrate quick results. Staff received DVM training in November 2012 and the region began rolling it out shortly after. Their 5S trainers received training in December 2012 and conducted their first campaign in February 2013.

The region is taking these new tools wherever leaders and managers sense there may be early adopters receptive to doing things in a new way. Teresa Watt, Executive Director of Operational Support, said one of the region’s biggest successes thus far

“is having us all realize that improvements often are simple and inexpensive.”

She said their CEO, Andrew McLetchie has thrown his support behind this by encouraging staff to “just do it” and also leading by example.

In early May, the region partnered with doctors and Northern Medical Services to create a Value Stream Map of patient flow at the La Ronge Medical Clinic. As part of their hoshin to improve primary care access in La Ronge, they are working to shorten wait times to see clinicians at the clinic. David Watts, Executive Director of Integrated Health for Mamawetan worked closely with Dr. David Stoll from the clinic:

“I was very proud to see so many clinic and health region staff totally engaged to try and improve health care for our patients. This is the reason why we are all here.”

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Dr. David Stoll explaining the Value Stream Map for improving patient flow at La Ronge Medical Clinic.

– Originally published in Transforming Health Care Through Lean – Summer 2013.

 

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