Lean Blog Audio — Gemba in the NICU: More Notes from our “Kaizen Live”


In my first post about the on-site Kaizen learning experience at Franciscan St. Francis Health, an event I came to call “Kaizen Live,” I wrote about some of the initial presentations and discussions from Franciscan leaders. You can also see my tweets from the days.A big part of the 1.5-day event was the three “gemba visits” that took place. Each attendee had the chance to visit pharmacy, endoscopy, and the NICU. I had visited all three departments before (when we shot this series of videos last October) and I focused this time on the NICU, going there all three times. Why did I go three times? Some of it was logistics, as I was the person responsible for getting each group there and I don’t know my way around the hospital that well. It was easier to learn one path – how to get to the NICU and back.

Since my last visit in October 2014, the NICU movedinto a new physical space (in November). The old unit was the traditional NICU of days past – a big open room with curtains that divided the space for each infant incubator, but didn’t provide too much privacy. The new, modern NICU was built with private rooms with sliding glass doors – providing more quiet and privacy than before.

While the NICU team had implemented hundreds of Kaizens in previous years, the chance to design a brand new space was a rare opportunity for radical Kaizen, or what might be called “Kaikaku.” Since it’s difficult to continuously improve many elements of a physicallayout (such as the location of walls), the team experimented with full-size Styrofoam mockups of the space. Staff and parents were able to give input at a stage when you could still Adjust easily in the PDSA model of Plan, Do, Study, Adjust.

Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/lean-blog-audio/support