Mapping the value stream from customer request to completion is one of the best ways to determine whether your system is providing value to the customer. The small number of steps in their process that the customer actually values often surprises organizations that perform this activity. Value stream mapping clearly depicts the interactions between departments and technology platforms, and the process times associated with each step.
As a result of an incomplete renovation, all emergency department walk-in patients were funneled through one semi-private triage station located directly inside of the emergency department’s front door. Long wait times and safety concerns, as well as patient confusion and dissatisfaction led to the administration’s decision to review the current operations.
Through value stream mapping, direct observation and data collection, a multidisciplinary improvement team was able to understand the root causes of current operational breakdowns and develop a simplified future state employing a pivot nurse to pre-sort patients. This new approach reduces the number of patients requiring a full, traditional triage while improving safety and satisfaction, and reducing wait times.