Productive Ward 5S
Separate out what is needed from what enable those who use the area, but are
is not needed not in the 5S team, to identify its use
Remove all items which are not used in
any area, ward, cupboard, office,
corridor, reception, theatre, etc. They
could be outdated materials, broken
equipment, redundant equipment, files Set
on the computer, measurements which
you no longer use etc
Arrange items so they are easy to find
and use. Use clearly identifiable storage
Return unwanted stock to pharmacy if it
locations – e.g. shelves, drawers or bins
is not needed for the ward
Keep only what is needed, only in the Ensure that there is easy access to the
amounts needed and only when it is system and its storage compartments
Ask staff to tag all items which they Ensure the storage system allows you
don't think are needed: this improves the ability to simply change the size of
understanding about need and use. the compartments, eg by moving
Classify all equipment and materials by shelves or dividers to accommodate
frequency of use to help decide if it new medical items
should be removed: this is known as a
„red tag'. Include the date when Use storage systems that are not totally
attached as well as a date for bespoke as these can restrict future
completing any action. You should also changes when required
record the quantity of material related
to the tag, and the reason for tagging
it. It may be that the item is Label items so that their storage sites
unnecessary, defective, non-urgent, left are easily understood by anyone.
over or held „just in case'. Include a Implement visual control. Right things
place to record what you intend to do in right place
with it e.g. dispose, store close by,
store in area, send to main stores, hold Team working – logically re-organise
for analysis ward by using spaghetti diagrams,
visual aids and before an after photos -
Keep a log of red tags to track activity use of visual management techniques
has a huge impact.
Establish a „holding area' for items that
are difficult to classify. This area will
hold an item for an allotted period to
Productive Ward 5S
Conduct a “Waste walk Video” Video day. Usually, a maximum of ten minutes
staff going about their usual daily at the end of each shift is enough.
routine to identify where time and effort Decide who is responsible for what
are being wasted and how you can standard and who will do what. A chart
make changes with signatures shows that the action of
maintenance has taken place.
Create specific storage areas for specific
items – this will prevent over-ordering
and items becoming lost. Staff will also
find items more quickly and efficiently
Make sure that organisation, orderliness
making them accessible to all those
and cleanliness are being maintained
who need it.
and incorporated into everyday
activities. Agree consistent process.
Put frequently used items close at hand
It is likely that other parts of the
organisation will also apply the same
Arrange items visually in the best
approach. The next step is
position for day to day work, for
„standardise': this means that the
example arrange files so you can
organisation sets consistent standards
immediately see if a file is missing or
so that staff who work in different areas
has been replaced incorrectly. This step
are not expected to work to different
also applies to computer filing systems.
standards. Standardisation saves time
as it allows routine tasks to be done in
The visual nature of the revised system a routine way.
is particularly important, so you may
want to use colour coding. You should
be able to see at a glance if something Sustain
is not there. This reduces the
opportunity for error and saves time
Communication about the Productive
locating missing items such as a
Ward is essential to ongoing
engagement and sustainability.
Introduce process audits
Properly maintaining correct
Clean the work area. Keep things ready procedures.
Use of audit.
Once you have arranged the items in
your work area, it is tempting to move Standard operating procedures.
onto another area and not look back.
This step reminds us to maintain
standards by setting aside time each
Productive Ward 5S
Continuously improving workplace
The final step is maintaining the set
work standards and actively removing
any causes which obstruct the
maintenance of these standards. This
means you can consistently reduce the
time needed on a daily basis. Make sure
you identify the root causes for any
problems to prevent them recurring. For
example five whys and cause and effect
diagrams. You can also use small tests
of change to work out the best way to
solve any problems.
The Benefits to Well Organised Storage:
Quicker access to stock through
increased visibility and organisation
Greater and more efficient stock control
Equipping staff with new skills
More time for better care
Improved patient experiences
Cost savings by more efficient working
Higher staff satisfaction and retention