Tuesday, February 5, 2013
2 Bin KanBan System Spreads to Pennsylvania
In early 2011 executive staff from St. Clair hospital in Pittsburgh, PA visited Seattle’s Children’s Hospital in the hopes of studying its well-regarded 2 bin Kanban system. They hoped to gain some insight into how to implement a similar system here in Western Pennsylvania hopefully propelling them to the forefront of supply stock management in the region. It has been shown from numerous reports the efficacy of the Seattle system[i] [ii]. Using the visual cues as a communication method between physicians and material supply staff has drastically improved the organization and reduced stock outs at Seattle Children’s[iii].
St. Clair’s implementation, while at heart very similar, has some key strategic differences. When empty a clinician or unit nurse sees an empty bin, they move it to a designated empty bin zone and pull the 2nd bin forward. When material staff comes in to check the rooms, they simply have to collect all the boxes from the empty bin zone and scan them for replacement[iv]. They also are some of the first in the region to bring in industrial engineers using advanced statistical analysis to determine initial stock levels and assist in the implementation. They removed fixed cabinetry and unused fixtures such as sinks[v]. Allowing for more space allowed for all items to be stored effectively. The materials department is constantly tracking usage levels and making adjustments, sometimes identifying stock outs before they happen.
A group of CMU students visited St. Clair fall of 2012 to learn more and offer potential improvements to this system. The results of this visit are still pending but it is a clear sign that St. Clair is leading the lean charge in Western PA and the surrounding regions. They have consistently been reporting under-budget supply orders and close to zero manual order entries. This is a system that other neighboring hospitals should seek to implement.
Questions: Can you think of any other improvements to the current 2 bin Kanban? Can you anticipate any challenges that such a system would pose?
[i] Wellman, J., Hagen, P. Jefferies, H. Leading the Lean Healthcare Journey: Driving Culture Change to Increase Value. Taylor & Francis. 2010
[ii] Gamble K H. Waste Management. Healthcare Informatics. February 25, 2009. http://www.healthcare-informatics.com/article/waste-management?page=2
[iii] Wellman, J., Hagen, P. Jefferies, H. Leading the Lean Healthcare Journey: Driving Culture Change to Increase Value. Taylor & Francis. 2010
[iv] Lyon, T. Two Bin System at St. Clair Hospital. St. Clair Hospital. YouTube. August 2012. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yjSwwPF5BUU&feature=plcp
[v] Lyon, T. Two Bin System at St. Clair Hospital. St. Clair Hospital. YouTube. August 2012. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yjSwwPF5BUU&feature=plcp