For Westmead sponsor of the 6S Lean Storeroom project, Daniel O’Flynn says success depends more on changing habits than changing rooms.
The acting operations director for critical care and medicine (pictured above with Mathias Langer and Shuting Li) said the program to clear waste, implement modular storage ideas and streamline ordering processes started with staff looking at their work spaces in a different light.
“It’s the way they change their thinking,” Daniel said. “Going from what they were doing to thinking outside the box and trying something different.
“If they’ve got that and give it a chance to work, they’ll start to see the benefits.”
Daniel said it was important the debriefing session celebrated the progress made and to ensure the hospitals continued to align with redevelopment plans.
But what about those making the changes? Here’s what some of the participants in phase 6 of the 6S Lean Storeroom project had to say:
Trudy Darling - Registered nurse in the Acute Cardiology Unit, A5A
“These rooms have been unusable with everything everywhere. We haven’t had them cleaned out for many, many years.
“This is an excellent opportunity to clear out paperwork, filing cabinets, and we’re able to re-organise to ensure it’s user-friendly. Now everything has a home. Any nurse or ward clerk can come in and get what they need straight away.
“We also see what needs to be restocked and re-ordered. It’s exciting, not just for me, but for those walking by who can see the changes. And we’ve had plenty of help.”
Robbie Cruceanu - Nursing unit manager, A5A
“We also declutter the walkways and hallways into the ward so we have more space to assist in emergency situations or getting people into the rooms quickly. Plus it looks more professional when patients and visitors come through.
“It’s definitely a lift. We have a room that was completely unused with material dumped in it since 2010. Now we’re turning it into a room for equipment such as wound dressing trolleys. I’ve been able to utilise a room that was dead. It’s mind-boggling.
“It also makes it easier and opens up opportunities down the track. It’s about future planning, such as where to put more power points to facilitate more appliances and devices. And that’ll be for years to come.”
Mathias Langer - Nursing unit manager, B5A/B5C
“We’ve changed the workflow so items used regularly are at the front and easy to access. We also keep stock off the floor to ensure infection control.
“We minimise stock and make it more cost-effective. And that means less waste.
“The oxygen equipment room has never been properly utilised. It’s now used for physio storage, overflow fan items and oxygen. We used to have seven D-sized cylinders in there which no-one used. We recalculated what we needed and that helps in ordering to ensure a cost-effectiveness.”
Shuting Li - Registered Nurse, Respiratory Unit B5C
and Respiratory Comprehensive Care Centre (RCCC)
“Our rooms have changed completely. Large items such as trolleys have been moved or removed. The rooms make much more sense.
“We’ve made major shelf changes so it’s easier to access and it’s a lot safer.”
Patricia (Trish) Walsh – Nursing unit manager, A4C
(Adolescent & Young Adult Medicine, Diabetes & Endocrinology, Infectious Diseases)
“You couldn’t actually get into this room; nothing was up on the walls apart from great big metal shelving from the ‘70s.
“I’ve also put in vital equipment with a photo matching the item to be stored. So if it’s missing, we know what’s missing.
“I’m feeling relieved, exhausted… in a positive sense. I really liked the opportunity to get two days, not on the floor, to actually participate in the program.
“I felt like I’ve been on The Block. I just don’t think I could do it day in, day out for six weeks. The tip for me is to just get in and get it done. Two days goes very quickly. You’ve just got to have the drive.”
All smiles ... Robbie Cruceanu and Trudy Darling; Patricia Walsh.