Staff share tips during storeroom clean-ups

Storeroom reviews are underway across Westmead.

Photo: Nurse Leanne Engle with chief operation assistant Deepka Devi in The Children’s Hospital at Westmead’s major equipment room.

Storerooms across Westmead are being reorganised during ongoing reviews and clean-ups. Staff from Western Sydney Local Health District and the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network are transforming equipment and consumable storage areas using a philosophy called 6S.

Western Sydney Local Health District’s director of innovation and redesign Emma Clarke said: “the Lean 6S methodology is a process we’re using in storerooms at both hospitals – we’re already using it in our current storerooms and we’ll use the same process in the new hospital building.”

The 6S stands for sort, straighten, shine, standardise, sustain and safety. These words are memorable prompts for staff as they apply the clean-up training to their work areas.

Staff participating in the program undertake training and receive ongoing support. The training includes a visit to medical consumable supplier Baxter.

The latest participants in the process are the perioperative units at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead and Westmead Hospital, and the geriatrics and medical imaging units at Westmead Hospital.

The teams have been sharing tips and lessons learned during the process, including visits to each other’s work areas.

Westmead Hospital nurse manager (operating suite) Elizabeth Stafidis suggested future participants needed a positive attitude and plenty of energy.

“Be decisive. Be fearless. Throw stuff out,” she said.

Westmead Hospital geriatric clinical support officer Win Myat was particularly interested in Baxter’s stock ordering processes: “I found the training really useful, especially because we’re moving. I learned a lot about my products during the process.”

Shelves and trolleys are being relocated or adjusted, while equipment is being re-organised or moved to other areas.

The Children’s Hospital at Westmead clinical nurse specialist Julie Callow said: “hopefully it won’t be as difficult to obtain that necessary piece of equipment when it is required by a porter or nurse, so that is good time saved; what we’ve learned here can snowball into other areas.”

The Children’s Hospital at Westmead nurse Leanne Engle said it was a team effort.

“It made us take stock of everything we had, everything we did and didn’t use. The process of rearranging everything meant we needed to ask everyone’s opinion on where everything should be. Change is hard, yet I think it is necessary.”

The storeroom clean-ups are part of a large transition program at Westmead. Staff are finding ways to reduce waste and finding cost savings in operational budgets.

Staff: If you want to know more about the 6S process, including how you can get involved in the next phase, contact us.

Related information

Story on the first round of storeroom reviews (go to page three in the document).

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