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Lean

BetterHealthcare.ca, the one-stop provincial Lean website managed by the Health Quality Council, shares stories of how Lean is being used to make health care better and safer in Saskatchewan.
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1. Saskatchewan Health Care Management System

Lean is a patient-first approach that puts the needs and values of patients and families at the forefront and uses proven methods to continuously improve the health system. It is unique in that it engages and empowers employees to generate and implement innovative solutions, and to fundamentally improve the patient experience on an ongoing basis. 

Saskatchewan is the first province in Canada to apply Lean across the entire health care system, putting patients and families first by focusing on better health, better care, better value, and better teams.
 
More than 1,000 Lean projects have been launched in Saskatchewan's health system. Early results are promising and show these efforts to be improving patient experience and outcomes, enhancing staff morale and engagement, increasing system productivity, and freeing-up provider time for patient care and improved service delivery.   

For detailed information about the Saskatchewan Health Care Management System, visit the Health Quality Council (HQC) website. The HQC is responsible for coordinating province-wide learning and improvement activity in support of the Saskatchewan Health Care Management System.
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2. Kaizen Promotion Offices

   
Provincial Kaizen Promotion Office
Health Quality Council
306-668-8810 ext.110 
Ministry of Health Kaizen Promotion Office 306-787-7507 
   
 Health Region  KPO Lead/Quality Co-ordinator 
 Cypress  306-741-3669
 Five Hills  306-691-7664
 Heartland  306-882-4111 ext. 2310
 Kelsey Trail  306-752-7562
 Prairie North  306-441-4926 ext.
 Prince Albert Parkland  306-765-6410
 Regina Qu'Appelle  306-766-0795
 Saskatoon  306-655-0160
 Sun Country  306-842-8207
 Sunrise  306-786-0735
 Keewatin Yatthé  306-832-6250
 Mamawetan Churchill River  306-425-4823
 Athabasca Health Authority  306-439-2200
 Saskatchewan Cancer Agency  306-791-2140
 Health Quality Council  306-668-8810 ext. 110
 3sHealth  306-347-5588
 eHealth Saskatchewan  306-337-5018
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3. Lean Glossary

Lean
Lean is a patient-centred approach to identifying and eliminating all non-value-adding activities and reducing waste within an organization.

Kaizen
Kaizen means "continuous improvement" or "change for the better." Typically, it's a short team-based improvement effort.

Production Preparation Process (3P)
3P 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.

Rapid Process Improvement Workshop (RPIW)
RPIW is a week-long event where teams of patients and family members, staff and clinics focus on one problem, identify the root causes, and create and test solutions. By week's end, they are ready to implement the solution in the workplace. The team checks the solution at 30, 60 and 90 days to see if it has worked and has been sustained.

Hoshin Kanri
Hoshin Kanriis a management method that comes from the Lean approach to improvement and is used to deploy strategic priorities throughout an organization.

Mistake Proofing
Mistake proofing examines the root cause for mistakes and aims to prevent them before they create defects. Making proofing also eliminates rework and reduces costs.

5S
Five terms beginning with "s" used to create a clean and well-organized workplace, which in turn promotes teamwork and safety, cuts costs and improves productivity:
  • Sort: Separate the necessary from the unnecessary items.
  • Simplify: Find the best place for everything and keep it in its place.
  • Sweep: Identify potential problems and deal with unsafe conditions or damaged items or equipment.
  • Standardize: Define how a task should be done and communicate this best practice to everyone involved.
  • Self-discipline: Ensure the area remains clean and organized and that everyone maintains the new processes.
Kanban
A way of automatically signalling when new parts, supplies or services are needed, in the quantity needed, and at the time they're needed. A Kanban signal is usually a card, indicating the need to reorder supplies. However, it can be a special container or another type of visual cue.

Value Stream Map
A visual tool used to help see and understand the flow of patients, supplies, or information through the health care experience. It maps all actions currently required to deliver a service or product and provides a big picture perspective that focuses on improving the whole from the standpoint of the patient.

Gemba
Place where the work is performed i.e. hospital floor or cafeteria.

Lead time
The total time of the patient experience process being observed. This is measured with a stopwatch. For example:
  • From the time the patient walks into the hospital until the time they are through admitting.
  • From the time the patient registers for day surgery until the time they are discharged home.
Waste 
Waste is anything that does not add value through the eyes of the patient. There are seven identified wastes in health care. They are:
  • Inventory: Too much. For instance, anything kept for "just in case."
  • Motion: Having to walk to multiple locations in search of supplies or information.
  • Defects: Errors that make it to the patient.
  • Transportation: Moving patients from room to room or various other locations.
  • Processing: Capturing patient information in multiple locations.
  • Overproduction: Creating 100 packages when only 15 are needed in the week.
  • Time: On the part of the patient or staff.

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