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PT and the Greater Good

Far East Approach to Falls Clinic

Published October 12, 2010 11:34 AM by Dean Metz

A hospital in Seattle, the Virginia Mason Institute, has been promoting lean management ideas. They are based on principles the Toyota motor company has employed to revolutionize manufacturing, but the approach has been geared to health care. The NHS here in the United Kingdom said all the trusts must reduce management costs by 30 percent so this is one of the techniques my trust is using to try to get costs down.

The overriding principle is something known as the "Five S's," including:

Seiri = sort out;

Seiton = systematic arrangement;

Seiso = scrub;

Seiketsu = standardize; and

Shitsuke = self-discipline.

These are the original Japanese phrases with corresponding English translations. We have been guided by these principles in every task we undertake and I've just learned that on Thursday, I have to present to upper management how we've done with our falls clinic since I've arrived.

Of course there is a standardized approach for the presentations. We have seven minutes total to discuss workforce, patient focus, quality improvement, patient safety, service delivery, challenges and successes.

Overall, we've done very well. The patients are happy, the efficacy is being measured by a study currently under way, there are no vacancies, our staff is up to date with all the statutory/mandatory training and we get more patients seen in less time. Now how will I get that all explained and presented in seven minutes in a coherent fashion?

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About this Blog


    Dean Metz
    Occupation: Staff Development Specialist
    Setting: New York, NY – Newcastle Upon Tyne, Great Britain
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