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Ensuring patient safety through Kaizen

SNEC nurses transformed — one small change at a time — an evaluation room into a safer space for patients.

Kaizen is the Japanese notion of improvement. It is a method of bettering processes that can be applied to almost any industry, including healthcare, but its benefits extend far beyond business.

Workplace safety was evaluated and improved by our SNEC nurses in Clinic 3B Evaluation Room. The original room configuration led patients and staff to experience congestion and increased the risk of falls. As a result of the clutter, the workflow was inefficient, traffic piled up, and only one wheelchair patient could be seen at a time.

Using the Kaizen philosophy, the nurses worked together to resolve congestion and fall risks so that patients could receive better and safer care at SNEC. Over six months, small improvements were introduced as the nurses followed the Plan-Do-Check-Act framework and tested several drawings and footprints.

With the success of their project, the nurses have fostered better team cohesion and found greater meaning in their caregiving role. They continue to motivate other staff members enthusiastically to voice their suggestions and take initiatives to improve workplace safety for patients.

Before: In spite of relocating and removing the storage cabinets to free up more space, further reconfiguration was needed for wheelchair patients to manoeuvre easily. Satisfaction survey result – 30 per cent.

After: Manoeuvring wheelchair patients became seamless after rearranging the eye test machines to further optimise the space. Satisfaction survey results – 100 per cent

Click here to check out other articles in SINGVISION Issue 1/2022.