October 30, 2013

How Lean changed my perspective on work: blog by RPN, Jolene Hathaway

by Lean Fox

With upcoming changes to the physical layout at Chatham-Kent Health Alliance Women’s & Children’s Unit , there was a need to streamline product/supplies and maximizing the use of space. Mr. Sperl lead the unit-based team through a 5S project that included a one-day walk through and 3-day event to Sort, Straighten, Shine, and Standardize.  Our guest blogger talks about her experience and eagerness for the last S, “Sustain.”

Jolene Hathaway headshot
Blog written by Jolene Hathaway, Registered Practical Nurse, Women & Children’s Health Chatham Kent Health Alliance

What I liked and learned:

I loved the process of cleaning and filter product that were expired, or not needed to be stocked on our shelves due to lack of use. Some items had great expiry dates and some items haven’t been used in years. This process was amazing to witness. It’s incredible the amount of product that was taking up space on our shelves.

What I have done since:

I have tried to educate fellow staff in what “Lean” is all about. I’ve also tried to educate them on the importance of keeping up with the Lean project in the future. I’ve explained that this is a team effort and the more we keep up on the Lean project the more tidy and neat our floor will be and we will continue to save money.

How has the Lean changed my perspective on work:

I’ve realized how much staff and I look past items that become “just another picture on the wall”. After being in the same place day after day, clutter, pictures, charts, etc no longer stand out. We forget they are there. We could have had posters expired from 5 years ago and no one ever notices until a new eye comes along. It’s funny how our brains work.  I was amazed at the amount of waste and unnecessary wall space that was taken up, as well as the distractive clutter in many places.

If I could change one thing, I would recommend a short explanation of the lean program to the fellow staff members. This project was sometimes bashed or not taken well by other employees. I did try my hardest to explain the process with the pros and benefits of the program. Although I feel a short power point with before and after photos’ or some sort of teaching to the other staff members would have benefited others to join in on the Lean program.  I think once others are properly educated on what “Lean” is all about and the greatness of it, then the change would be accepted more.

This Lean product has been a wonderful experience for me and I am so glad to be a part of Lean5S.

Download the case study that includes pictures from the project


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