Workspaces say goodbye to waste

The B3a3 storeroom, ship-shape after being reorganised according to Lean 6S philosophy to reduce waste.
The B3a3 storeroom, ship-shape after being reorganised according to Lean 6S philosophy to reduce waste.

Last week representatives from Westmead Hospital, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead and the Westmead Redevelopment visited Baxter Healthcare to learn about 6S storeroom philosophy.

The purpose of the initiative is to equip service teams involved in the Westmead Redevelopment with the knowledge, tools and practical experience to standardise and organise their storerooms to enhance sustainability, improve efficiencies, reduce costs associated with avoidable waste, and improve safety.

The initiative also supports teams in transitioning into future ways of working by cleaning out expired or damaged stock and paper forms and planning for future storeroom organisation.

The focus on efficiency is a key component in preparing for the completion of the central acute services building and the subsequent shift to enhanced workplace practice.

Teams were introduced to the Lean 6S methodology. 6S is a basis for improvement as it removes waste from workspaces. It includes:
 Sort – get rid of what isn’t needed
 Straighten – arrange items that are needed so they are clearly identified and ready to use
 Shine – clean the workplace and equipment on a regular basis
 Standardise – assign tasks and visually track who is responsible
 Sustain – keep it up (audit and insist)
 Safety – make the work area safe

Following the site visit, teams returned to their respective wards to apply the approach in practice.

“On the first day of clean-up it was surprising to have only filled up one and a half bins,” said Aged Care nursing unit manager Russell Roxborough.

“We’ve since filled up another bin and still have so much more to do. Our staff have already noticed a difference in tidiness and we’re already reaping the benefits of more efficient and ordered stocks.”

Representatives included Intensive Care Services, Aged Care and Healthcare for Older People Early (HOPE), Gastroenterology, Pharmacy and B3 Surgical from Westmead Hospital, Westmead Redevelopment project team members, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead Pharmacy and the Western Sydney Local Health District Innovation and Redesign team.

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