At SCL Good Samaritan Medical Center in Lafayette, CO, David Hamm (CEO) never stops asking, “What else can we do to serve our patients better?” Having a great and efficient Perioperative Services Department was not enough.

SCL Good Samaritan Medical Center is an expansive facility located in beautiful Lafayette Colorado. At the time they decided to start on their Lean journey, they were a very well run hospital. They just wanted more. One of the areas where they identified opportunities for improvement was in the Perioperative Services Department.

The Challenge

The clinical staff seemed to be in constant conflict with the Sterile Processing Department over their performance and turnaround time of instrument sets. This caused an unusual level of tension in a place that has a very friendly attitude in general. Every time a set or an individual instrument was required, it was treated as an emergency, and that raised tensions even further.

Leonardo Solution

The instrument set flow project started with a Value Stream Mapping activity that was used as the general guide for the improvement projects. The main improvement project was the complete redesign of the instrument set flow.

A complete analysis of all instrument sets and process flow diagrams were completed, along with the calculation of all resources necessary to deliver sets in the shortest time, with the highest quality, and at the lowest cost.

All of the procedures to deliver the requested instrument sets were reconfigured according to the new flow concepts. Turnaround times decreased to acceptable levels and collaboration between departments blossomed. The Manager of the Sterile Processing Department took the lead to present the Kaizen achievements to the entire Perioperative Services Department.