Good Samaritan Hospital Uses Lean in the Emergency Department
As a large regional referral medical center, Good Samaritan Hospital (Kearney, Nebraska) knew that implementing a hospital-wide Lean initiative was imperative to furthering their vision of improving health, managing cost, and providing value to their patients.
Good Samaritan Hospital partnered with TechSolve to drive Lean improvements within their Emergency Department (ED). At over 15,000 patient visits a year, Good Samaritan was seeing steady annual growth. As volume grew, patient length of stay, as well as variability within patient satisfaction, began to climb. The current process for charting patient information and tracking the patient flow was becoming increasingly difficult, adding redundancies and errors to everyday work. Over time, supplies and equipment were kept where room was available, making it difficult for nurses to find what they needed when they needed it. TechSolve took the lead at driving Lean improvements across the ED by evaluating processes from the time a patient walks in the door until their discharge.
TechSolve worked with front line staff (including clerks, nurses, emergency medical technicians and paramedics, flight staff, and doctors) to drive Lean tools within the ED. To improve the awareness and status of patients within the department, TechSolve implemented a patient tracking center containing all pertinent information required for clinicians to quickly understand all patients’ statuses. In addition, the old way of processing patients was redesigned, and a practice of dual nurse and physician assessment was implemented to streamline patient flow. Throughout the project, additional improvement were implemented including the centralization of supplies, the creation of standard supply (e.g., orthopedics, suture, cast) and bedside carts, and an improved charting system.
These efforts resulted in:
- 50% reduction in average time and variation in door-to-doc
- 15% reduction in overall patient length of stay
- 23% reduction in overall variation in patient length of stay
- 53% reduction in total distance traveled by shift per nurse
- Over 5% improvement in both staff and patient satisfaction
- Financial impact of nearly $100,000 annually