The COVID-19 pandemic is causing shortages of PPE, meaning that healthcare organizations all over the world must finding creative ways to help ensure that their staff has what they need to effectively care for patients.
Catalysis Healthcare Value Network member, Torrance Memorial Medical Center, in Torrance, Ca, formed an assembly line to produce face shields for those on the frontline. The idea came from a nurse who was trying to figure out how she could help contribute to the COVID 19 work. They staffed this assembly line with employees from all across the organization including physical therapy, occupational therapy and nursing, and came up with a process to use laminating sheets, kanban and foam. Jeremiah Hargrave, Manager Process Excellence and his team helped get the line up and running at the start and it was not much later that they were engaging the team to find improvements to the process.
The first day the team was able to make 100 face shields in 3 hours. After some PDSA of the process they adjusted and were able to assemble 120 face shields an hour with the same amount of people and following social distancing rules.
Great job Torrance Memorial! This is a great way to put your lean knowledge and other resources to use to provide value to patients during the COVID-19 crisis.