Thursday, April 26, 2012

Does BC Health Minister have a Black Belt in Lean?

Several bouts of verbal attacks by the BC NDP, against the BC Liberals during Question Period in the House in Victoria on the topic of C-Dificile, had me looking a little closer at the topic of cleanliness in our hospitals.

Why is it cropping up now?

There's a document called "Lean in British Columbia's Health Sector" which is closely adhered to by our Provincial Government.   Have the BC Liberal used the same Lean methodology in more than one Ministry?
Lean is a method that improves processes through continuous improvement (kaizen) and elimination of waste. It is the North American equivalent of the Toyota Production System. The foundation of Lean Manufacturing is leveling of production, known as Heijunka. Simply put, the work load each day is level. Building upon that foundation are two main pillars which represent "Just-in-time production" and "Automation with a human touch".
Just-in-time production means only product required is produced. Automation with a human touch signifies that machines are equipped in such a way that they can detect small errors when processing and have the ability to stop the process. These two pillars are joined by a respect for humanity which means associates are respected and viewed as valuable contributors. Applying Lean principles can greatly improve efficiency as well as quality. A key aspect of this system is the building of quality into the process; do not pass a defect on to the customer (the next process). Through application of this fundamental rule, problems are highlighted immediately and addressed just as quickly.
 A search in Google using these keywords:  Lean Manufacturing Junction BC Health
Lean in British Columbia's Health Sector File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - Quick View Lean in British Columbia's Health Sector : Annual Report 2010-11 · 1 ... working groups, and the production of an inventory of Lean events and an annual report ...... prevent missing an operation ( [LMJ], n.d.).

Using Google again, but with these keywords Lean Manufacturing Junction BC Forestry

 Using Google.... keywords   BC Lean Manufacturing Pilot Project

FICBC Sponsors Lean Manufacturing Pilot Program

July 23, 2011
 A type of process improvement, Lean Manufacturing has the potential to find cost savings and increase product quality. Widely used internationally, Lean is a system and philosophy which Toyota implemented in the 1990′s to become one of the world’s largest automakers. Literally to trim the fat or waste on anything that does not add value to the consumer, Lean harnesses the knowledge of production workers to improve quality, eliminate waste, reduce time and reduce costs.
The Food Innovation Centre of BC (FICBC) recently carried out a Lean Manufacturing pilot program. Learning To See Consulting (LTS) was contracted to custom-design and deliver the Lean Manufacturing pilot program to a selection of small and medium BC greenhouses, nurseries, and floriculture operations in the Fraser Valley and the Okanagan. From December to March 2011, a total of 168 industry employees received Lean Training and support for implementation of Lean at their operations.
After having read the "Lean in British Columbia's Health Sector" document it appears as though our Minister of Health doesn't even have a White Belt.  To rid our hospitals of C-Dificile the Minister needs a Lean Team assembled in the cleaning departments.  Failing that maybe he should go for a Poka-Yoke. 

Poka-yoke (ポカヨケ) [poka joke] is a Japanese term that means "fail-safing" or "mistake-proofing". A poka-yoke is any mechanism in .....


Lean Six Sigma

 Lean Six Sigma is a synergized managerial concept of Lean and Six Sigma that results in the elimination of the seven kinds of wastes/muda (classified as Defects, Overproduction, Transportation, Waiting, Inventory, Motion and Over-Processing) and provision of goods and service at a rate of 3.4 defects per million opportunities (DPMO) .  snip

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