Situation: Nurse supervisors at a six-facility community hospital in Florida were heavily involved in Lean initiatives in clinical areas of the hospital. They had made great strides in reducing clinical waste through the application of 5S principles. However, these efforts stopped at their office doors, and significant inefficiencies crept into their administrative work. These inefficiencies prevented them from spending as much time as they wanted delivering patient care. Intervention: We showed them how to apply lean principles – particularly 5S – to the information they managed. This allowed them to spot problems in existing administrative processes, and helped them to understand that 5S is a way of thinking, not just a way of organizing the supply closet. The program also helped identify opportunities for eliminating other administrative waste.

Resolution: Participants reported that the training:

  • “Provided a clearer understanding of 5S, flow & purpose”
  • “Provided the initial steps to an organized standardized process”
  • “Helped me understand the concept of visual management”
  • “Presented tools to work more efficiently and effectively”