What we did
We had an afternoon training on the principle of the five Ss, an acronym of Japanese words to improve processes and our practice environment. In English, they are:
- Sort – We got rid of everything we didn’t need.
- Set – We made sure every item had its set place in the room, which was clearly labelled, with regularly used items in easier reach.
- Shine – We built in a daily cleaning routine.
- Standardise – We made sure equipment places were standardised to make it easier for people to use each other’s consulting rooms and also to spot if restocks were necessary.
- Sustain – We continue doing this.
This has saved time in consultations because everyone knows where to look, and staff no longer have to leave the room to track down missing stock. A conservative estimate would be that it saves an average of five minutes per day per working clinician, which would be 10 hours a week of clinical time in the practice.
From Dr Iolanthe Fowler, Sheffield