Kaiser Permanente - Applying the 5S Tool to Healthcare Service

Quality in Healthcare

Applying the 5S Tool to Healthcare Service

During meetings with internal and external stakeholders, Kaiser Permanente Colorado’s Medicaid Enrollment Project Team utilized an innovative application of the lean 5S tool. This quality tool is derived from five Japanese terms beginning with “s” used to create a workplace suited for visual control and lean production:

  • Seiri means to separate needed tools, parts, and instructions from unneeded materials and to remove the unneeded ones.
  • Seiton means to neatly arrange and identify parts and tools for ease of use.
  • Seiso means to conduct a cleanup campaign.
  • Seiketsu means to conduct seiri, seiton, and seiso daily to maintain a workplace in perfect condition.
  • Shitsuke means to form the habit of always following the first four s’s.

Below, the Japanese terms are translated into the English language version of the 5S’s.

Japanese

Translated

English

Seiri

organize

sort

Seiton

orderliness

set in order

Seiso

cleanliness

shine

Seiketsu

standardize

standardize

Shitsuke

discipline

sustain

To improve the enrollment template process and the template, the team used the 5S tool as follows:

  • The fields were sorted and unnecessary fields were eliminated.
  • The fields were set into order based on stakeholder input.
  • The team shined by creating a Microsoft Access database that would not allow duplicate entries.
  • The spreadsheet was standardized by protecting it and making it a template.
  • A self-sustaining system was created by using Microsoft Access (to control data format and duplication) and Microsoft Excel templates (to control spreadsheet format and order).

Read the full case study: Streamlined Enrollment Nets Big Results for Healthcare Leader (PDF, 193 KB, Free Registration Required)

 

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