Open Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Volume 8, Issue 14 (December 2018)

ISSN Print: 2160-8792   ISSN Online: 2160-8806

Google-based Impact Factor: 0.54  Citations  h5-index & Ranking

Lean Management in Obstetrics and Gynecology: Application in the Ambulatory Clinic Pre- and Post-Kaizen

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DOI: 10.4236/ojog.2018.814161    316 Downloads   738 Views  


OBJECTIVE: The ambulatory clinic was an important departmental problem. Providers hated working there and patients complained about the wait times there. It seemed there were equal numbers of patients and provider complaints. In the spirit of solving the problem, data was gathered, a LEAN intervention was planned, and data was collected. METHODS: We defined the service families in the clinic as registration, vital signs, provider or ultrasound visit, nursing visit, and registration for the return visit. We walked the Gemba engaging all the staff in the process. Many observations pointed to long waits between and among the five stations. In order to study the current state, time data was collected by attaching a sheet of paper to a folder that the patient would carry themselves to all the clinical steps. On the sheet of paper each station logged the time that patient appeared and the time the patient left their sight. Data was gathered each day and every day from October 2016 to the summer of 2017. The data was analyzed. Leadership met and identified value and waste in the process. A Kaizen event was scheduled after the first set of measurements engaging all the staff. After the data was thoroughly analyzed and digested, brainstorming occurred. Together we determined our future state. We created a vision and strategic goals to reach our future state. RESULTS: The data pre-Kaizen event showed that the process of arrival to leaving took 124 minutes. We discovered that not every patient passed through each station. We learned the patients were on time or early for their visit most of the time. The providers were late most of the time by 1 - 1.5 hours. We learned how long each station took from the patient’s point of view. There were no statistically significant differences between ultrasound and provider visits; there were no statistically significant differences between midwife and physician visits. Each day of the week was similar. The arrival rate was higher in the morning because of the template. After the event, the total time in clinic did not change however the variability in time between and among each station decreased in variance. We informed the staff of these findings so that they could take responsibility for their part in the process. The atmosphere in clinic changed dramatically and the complaints from both providers and patients stopped. CONCLUSION: LEAN management was used to improve the clinic. It yielded important results, got the staff engaged in the process, and provided a way for the patients to see the efforts made by staff to improve.

Cite this paper

Follen, M. , Fradkin, L. , Crane, J. and Noon, C. (2018) Lean Management in Obstetrics and Gynecology: Application in the Ambulatory Clinic Pre- and Post-Kaizen. Open Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 8, 1604-1630. doi: 10.4236/ojog.2018.814161.

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