As healthcare becomes more and more competitive, hospitals are looking for solutions that will allow nurses to spend more time on direct patient care. Because, as reported in the Wall Street Journal, “the more time nurses spend at the bedside, the less likely patients are to suffer falls, infections and medication errors, and the more likely they will be satisfied with their care.”
Start By Finding Areas to Reduce Waste
One solution that will help nurses spend more times with patients is to adopt LEAN processes designed to reduce waste. In this case, it would be to reduce the amount of time nurses spend on unproductive activities.
For instance, a 2008 study discovered nurses spend about 6.6 percent of a 10 hour shift on “wasteful” activities such as waiting for lab results or hunting down supplies.
One Place to Start is a Storage Area
And hunting down supplies is a major pain point for nurses. Yet most hospitals don’t realize there are incredibly simple fixes that will help. For instance, we recently worked with a northwestern area Washington hospital to redesign storage in five of its supply replenishment rooms.
Re-Designing Supply Storage for Easy Access
Previously, the hospital was storing supplies in plastic totes and boxes on wire carts. Each supply room contained three carts 60”L x 24”D x 72”H. And none of the totes or boxes were properly labeled.
The result was what you’d expect: nurses frustrated with the clutter and the amount of time they had to spend searching for supplies. Our Seattle area sales representative, Jim Deller, worked with the hospital to come up with a solution that would get the hospital’s supply rooms better organized.
Working within the hospital’s requirements, Jim designed a new storage system: FrameWRX high density – consisting of an EZ rail and Spacesaver cantilever shelves – with clear plastic bins that have color-coded labels attached.
Fitting Supplies in Less Storage Space
Now, all of the supplies that were once stored on wire carts fit right into the FrameWRX system. In fact, the new system managed to house all of the supplies with room to spare!
Also, the FrameWRX system takes up much less space within the supply room. But best of all, supplies are now organized and easily accessible for the nurses that need them.
We are Here to Help Your Hospital’s Nurses
Simple fixes in areas like storage that hospitals normally won’t give much thought to, just might be the key to reducing waste and allowing nurses to spend more time with their patients.
To learn more about another one of our LEAN solutions for reducing waste in hospitals, check out this previous blog entry. And to contact us about your storage issues, give us a call at 1-800-803-1083 or send us a message.