Going to the Gemba

We go to the gemba - we have to see it to understand it. As designers, we see most problems visually, un-mired by protocols and special limitations. Often clients have said, "if only we had more space"?, when the problem is actually staging, process, and flow. We walk the gemba: we watch and observe patterns. We ask, "Why?" While observing a busy day at a clinic recently, the source of the issue became apparent. The problem was not that they needed a larger waiting room to handle the patients and families that stacked up in front of the registration desk. It was that the waiting area was around the corner, out of sight of the desk. This population of patients liked to visit with others they recognized upon check in. The first stop in their appointment visit was a blood draw station, immediately adjacent to the registration desk, but on the opposite side of the waiting room. No one wanted to go to the waiting room because they'd miss their social opportunity to visit with others, and they couldn't hear or see the nurse calling them into the blood draw area. The result: they would remain standing at the registration desk, chatting and visiting, long after they'd checked in, blocking access for the next arriving patient. The solution: move the waiting area & desk to provide space to step aside and continue social conversation, while also bringing the waiting room closer to the first destination, the blood draw stations.

The LEAN Management Process
The LEAN Design Process
The LEAN Problem Solving Process
The Internal Tgba LEAN Process
Managing the Process
Community Focus
Client Centered Care
Supporting Economic Success
Healing through Beauty


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