Muda. Get to know where it is. Ask, “how do we get rid of it?” Then, make it happen. Elimination of muda – Japanese for waste – is the challenge being presented to physician and operational leaders during planning for the next phase of work with Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan.

“There are seven wastes including waiting and movement,” explains Tina Halberg, with John Black and Associates. “Waste is anything that is non-value added in the eyes of the patients.”

Halberg, along with her colleagues from John Black and Associates, are helping physicians, staff, families, patients, architects and administrators over the next three months to further develop plans for Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan.

The firm was hired by the Region after a planned August design check point showed a gap between available funding and what is now proposed in early floor plans for the facility.
The consultants are meeting with physician and operational leaders this month to review what has been done, what additional data needs to be gathered or uncovered, and to challenge everyone involved to think beyond what they have already envisioned for the future.

Susan Neidig of John Black and Associates will help the CHS team lean out the design even further than the work already completed.

“The last eleven months of design and process improvement work done by staff, physicians, patients and families have added some exceptional enhancements to this facility,” says Jackie Mann, VP Acute Care and project sponsor for Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan. “Enhancements included increasing diagnostic imaging with the new hospital to reduce the distances travelled by patients and families to access services such as x-ray. It also meant increasing patient room sizes to ensure space for families or supportive partners to stay with loved ones while ensuring care providers could work with the latest technology.”

“The cost of enhancements, along with the increasing cost of construction in Saskatchewan, now presents us with a challenge and an opportunity,” says Mann. “The challenge is to deliver this facility with the current planned services within the funding that has been provided to the Health Region to build it. The opportunity is to make additional design improvements that will eliminate waste in the facility which will reduce our footprint, but more importantly, will result in improved patient care.”

This means rather than the traditional approach of having a select few administrators simply cut space from the building to meet funding, groups of staff, physicians, patients and administrators will delve deeper into the current processes and determine how to add value to patients who will enter the new hospital. For example, what is the best way to design care areas to support care givers spending more time with patients.

This early work includes an analysis of key clinical and operations data. This data will be utilized in major 3P events in middle November and the beginning of December.

If you would like to learn more about the methodology John Black and Associates is bringing to Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan, read the book The Toyota Way to Healthcare Excellence: Increase Efficiency & Improve Quality With Lean by John Black.

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