The author is the Administrative Director, Park Nicollet Frauenshuh Cancer Center.
Park Nicollet used lean principles to design its Frauenshuh Cancer Center, an innovative new facility and model of care that focuses completely on the needs and preferences of patients and their families.
Planning began in 2005 with cancer center staff, leaders and patients participating in a “3P” event, based on the “Production Preparation Process” from the Toyota Production System. After mapping out and measuring steps in the current process, the planning team designed a new concept of care that conserves a patient’s energy and enables them to more easily focus on healing and other things important to them.
Instead of requiring patients to move from department to department to receive their care, a process typical in most cancer centers, the team created the “non-moving patient” care model. In the new cancer center, patients remain in their own comfortable room with views of a healing garden, while caregivers come to them.
Services rendered in the patient’s room include: lab draws, nursing assessment, physician exam, IV therapy administration and the scheduling of future appointments. Additional supportive services such as music therapy, spiritual care, social work, counseling and integrative therapies can also come to the patient.
Throughout the planning of the new facility, mockups were constructed and many “kaizen events” were completed to simulate and refine the new care processes. The facility design was then further refined prior to construction to optimally support the new model of care.