Peninsula Health is the major healthcare provider and teaching hospital for the metropolitan and regional areas on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula. It offers 900 beds, and its network includes the Frankston and Rosebud hospitals. Services include obstetrics, a wide range of surgery, aged care, rehabilitation, emergency as well as intensive care, oncology, psychiatric services and Hospital in the Home.
Peninsula Health’s surgical and anaesthetic services recognised the need for a more seamless patient journey with a particular focus on the first surgical case for the day. Management had observed multiple problems with delays to first case surgery, resulting in extended patient waiting times and staff frustration as the coordination of timely and safe care was affected.
Idle time early in the morning was leading to staff downtime and waste, preventing additional surgical cases from being scheduled. Peninsula Health needed to develop and strategise their processes to improve efficiency and their patients’ experiences.
Vative’s introduced Lean Six Sigma thinking and methodology in the development of new processes which were designed to reduce start time delays, and engage the whole surgical services team in a coordinated approach to patient care. More specifically, staff workshops and surveys, value stream and process mapping, and process audits were conducted. This included a review of patient arrival times, the issue of late arrivals and how patients were accessing the hospital early in the morning.
From the very first case surgical start time project, Peninsula Health achieved significant results including:
- 37 per cent reduction in delays to first case surgical start time
- 11 per cent improvement in patient arrival times
- Increased patient satisfaction from clear written and verbal instructions
- Good staff alignment through definition of surgical roles and times
The Lean Six Sigma methodology provided the team with a step-by-step approach to addressing surgical start time issues. A new approach allowed Peninsula Health to streamline their staff’s roles and responsibilities across each discipline to ensure a timely surgery start.
“This project has resulted in one of the most successful change management processes in surgery and anaesthesia services at Peninsula Health.” – Senior Anaesthetist, Peninsula Health