Steal Your Time Back Utilizing Lean Methodology

Monday, 30 October 2017

Daphne L. Hurm, MSN
Emergency Services, Indiana University Health, Carmel, IN, USA
Jodie D. Johnston, BSN
Office of Transformation, Indiana University Health, Carmel, IN, USA

Background: As a team of Emergency Department leaders from the North Central Region of IU Health, we found there was duplication in our work and lack of efficiencies. Our leadership team spent an average of 45% of our time firefighting, which prevented us from focusing on improvement initiatives, strategic planning, and human development.

Aims: Our aim was to come together as a leadership team to eliminate inefficiencies and refocus our work toward our mission, vision, values, and strategic initiatives.

Method: The team met for one week to use Lean tools to study and analyze the current state of our daily work. Time studies, 6S methodology and Lean Enterprise Perception of Job Functions Diagram were used to align and prioritize our daily work.

Results: Team standard work as well as individual leader standard work was developed that focuses on not only our daily responsibilities but also human development both for our team and ourselves. Mission, vision and values were developed for the North Central Region emergency departments which facilitated prioritization of our work. Based on the structure developed, duplicative meetings were eliminated. A process was communicated to request specific agendas to improve meeting effectiveness both within our team and with others in the region. Additionally, a brief daily status call was implemented to assist with a proactive and collaborative approach to our daily work. On average for each leader, time spent in meetings was decreased by six hours per month. Firefighting was decreased from 45% to 13% of our time per leader. Time spent on improvement initiatives increased from 13% to 30% per leader. Time spent with our frontline team members improved from an average of 5.25 hours per week to 9 hours per week per leader. Strategic planning improved from an average of 4% of time per week to 9.6% for each leader.

Conclusion: In conclusion, our results indicate Lean methodology can be utilized to eliminate inefficiency in our daily work. This allows us to focus on our strategic initiatives and our development of our teams across the region. The results of this initiative has allowed for increased collaboration, communication and teamwork within the North Central Region Emergency department leadership team.