Reducing Arrival to Provider Seen Time in the Emergency Department

Presenter: Jonathan Flanders, Director of Performance Excellence, Sky Lakes Medical Center, Klamath Falls, OR, USA

Co-Presenter: Anna Hess, Performance Excellence Partner, Sky Lakes Medical Center, Klamath Falls, OR, USA

Keywords: Lean Six Sigma, Value Stream Mapping, Standard Work

Industry: Healthcare

Level: Intermediate


Using the Lean Six Sigma methodology, a multi-function project team of front-line staff reduced the overall time it takes for a patient to see a Provider after arrival from an average of 47 minutes to 22 minutes. By applying Lean and Six Sigma tools under the DMAIC format, the team was able to use structure and data to determine sources of waste and variation. A vital part of the success of the team was shifting the culture of the department to believe and understand that all patients, regardless of how sick they are, should be seen in a timely fashion. The overall theme of the new design was "no butt hits a chair." Using tools such as value stream mapping and measurement system analysis, the team was able to streamline processes, more clearly define roles, and provide standard work for all stakeholders. 

The presentation will tell the story of the team walking through each phase of the DMAIC process highlighting key tools for each phrase used by the team members to solve a chronic problem for the department.