Nurses: what is the meaning of lean for you?

To prepare for a training, the Elisabeth Nursing Surgery Ward (B2) posed all nurses the following question:

What is the meaning of lean for you?

This offers the opportunity to get an idea of how lean thinking is experienced by nurses. Before interpreting their answers, it is good to know that they have had a basic introduction of lean thinking one year ago, and especially started to employ 5S for Workplace Organization with enthusiasm. Furthermore they have put the Lean principles impressively into practice during the development of care pathways. However it was not explicitly communicated to the nurses that they were applying lean (and that explains why you don't see that in their answers).

Their answers to the question per nurse:

- Work more efficiently with less storage supplies; to have more time for the patients, less space clogged, because of less storage space needed; less costs; less walking; less disposals; things will not expire.  

- Improvement chart: improving small things on your department, within your own sphere of influence, which do not cost a lot of money.

- Have the supplies in a logical place.

- Lean. I have not been present on the day of the Lean introduction, so I must confess that - although we are employing it on our department- I still do not have the ‘feeling’. When I think about Lean, I think about logic. Supplies have to lay on a logical place, however this is not the same for everyone of course.

- Lean means for me to work efficiently, knowing what you are doing and do your things in the easiest way possible, without hodgepodge.

- To me Lean means, (possible to make adaptations to) work as efficiently as possible, without losing valuable time.

- Lean is working with a minimal of interrupting factors and unnecessary stuff around you. Everything is stored in a way that it is easy to grab.

- To obtain a clear and logic work environment.

- Less walking to gather all necessary resources for a certain operation. Thus a logical division of materials.

- Keep the operational stock always sufficient. Thus a well developed system to supplement and order while the stock is not extraordinary huge.

- To save time and to do not forget any materials for a nursing operation.

- Less stock, effective workspace division, less walking.

- Employ my daily tasks as efficient as possible. Good communication and fine tuning of the activities of your team.

- Lean means to me that the materials I need for a certain operation are within arm’s reach.

- Work more focused, less double work, less overlap, less time waste. Further concise and clear report in the patient files.

- Think more consciously about where and why certain materials are stored on a certain place.

- Work as efficient as possible.

- Work as efficient as possible. This can be on a micro and macro level. It is possible to implement Lean to a big extent into a lot of elements.

- Efficient working, and to arrange resources and materials which are necessary to work as efficient as possible. So we do not have to walk 10 times to and fro for a certain operation.

- System which focuses on the elimination en prevention of waste. Central is the factor time, because handling waste in the time factor, leads to direct improvements of stock, quality and speed.

- Working organized and structured

- Logical working: What I want, what do I need for it, how am I going to handle this to make it logic and with the least overlap and to give time gains for me as well as for the nursing and to make everything well organized for the client. It is necessary to plan, to make things happen according to certain planned steps, so everyone can keep operating and does not loose time with cases that could have been handled long time ago or write so much that the overview is lost.

What do you notice?!

P.S. My gratitude goes to Nynke Reitsma for translating my Dutch blog

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