“You don’t realize how bad something is until you improve it,” said Darren Tanzell a paramedic with Emergency Medical Services (EMS). Tanzell made the comment to a group touring a 5S’ed ambulance at EMS Central as part of the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region’s (RQHR’s) Quarterly Review. 5S stands for sort, simplify, sweep, standardize and self-discipline and ensures there’s a place for everything and everything’s in its place.
“It used to take 21 minutes to check an ambulance’s supplies at the beginning of a shift. Now it takes less than two minutes. Obviously, this kind of time savings is important and will improve response times for our patients.” The 5S team removed 1,600 unnecessary items and kitted and labelled the essential supplies.
“I now feel anxious when I use an ambulance that hasn’t been 5S’ed because there’s a chance something might not be where I expect it to be.”
(Darren Tanzell, Paramedic, EMS Central, Regina Qu’Appelle)
The Quarterly Review, which took place July 24, brought together senior leaders, physicians, and specialists and directors with the Kaizen Promotion Office/Kaizen Operation Teams to celebrate successes, discuss challenges and report on their progress towards meeting regional and provincial targets and goals. Joanne Poggetti, vice president of John Black and Associates, and Shari Furniss, certification and training director with the Provincial Kaizen Promotion Office, observed and provided feedback.
The morning session, which took place at Wascana Rehabilitation Centre’s auditorium, heard reports from the Region’s four service lines – Medicine, Mental Health and Addictions, Surgery and Primary Health Care – and the Kaizen Promotion Office.
Panel discussions followed each presentation. Themes included how best to align the organization’s work with goals and targets, patient flow and access, primary health care, improving staff and physician engagement, sick time and turnover, and challenges with finding meaningful data.
“This is about addressing the goals of province but also improving the quality of care we deliver. We’re here to improve the experience of those we serve.”
(Keith Dewar, President and CEO, Regina Qu’Appelle)
The afternoon session was comprised of gemba tours. In addition to EMS Central, sites included Child and Youth Services, Home Care, Long Term Care and a virtual tour of Unit 4D’s implementation of rounding at the patient bedside and use of whiteboards.
“Keep going. Pedal to the metal,” said Poggetti in concluding the event. “Utilize each other more. Ask for help. What you’re doing will help the patient. It’s also going to help the staff. This is really good work.”
For the service line presentations, go to http://www.rqhrlean.com/rqhr-quarterly-review.html.
For the province’s 2014-15 provincial plan, go to http://www.rqhrlean.com/strategic-planning-toolkit.html.
Photo: Medical Media Services
Darren Tanzell describes how his team 5S’d an ambulance during a tour of EMS Central.