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Wednesday, May 27, 2020  

Rose RN wins Innovator Award for Project LeanPublished 11/10/2010

Sometimes small changes can have big results.
Just ask Andrew Lieberman, an RN in the ICU at HealthONE’s Rose Medical Center. His initiatives to improve patient and nurse safety by streamlining supply and equipment storage have earned him the Denver hospital’s Innovator Award.
But more importantly his Project Lean has saved the Intermediate Care (IMC) unit $34,000 this year in time and expired equipment, we well as reduced the chance for nurse injuries.
The program’s launch in the IMC has been such a success that Lieberman has taken three other floors lean with the goal on converting all of Rose within a year.
As a member of Rose’s All-Hazard Support Team, Lieberman wanted to improve patient safety by identifying latex-free equipment. So he took his idea to Facility and Patient Safety Officer Kat Kemper, who is also director of risk safety, security and emergency preparedness.
They discussed taking the hospital latex-free, but the idea grew when Kemper told Lieberman about the lean philosophy she had learned during her Six Sigma business certification.
With Kemper’s guidance, Project Lean was born and Lieberman ran with it.
     “When we collaborated initially, I thought Andrew would be perfect to spearhead this,” Kemper said. “He showed enthusiasm and the nurses have picked up on that and are more than willing to maintain his program.”
First, the supply stock was limited to a three-day supply, reducing the number of expired supplies and equipment by having accurate minimum and maximum supply levels on the floor.
Second, all equipment and supplies that nurses use were organized in color-coded bins: red for all IV equipment, yellow for wound care, gray for respiratory supplies and blue for everything else.
The colored bins save time by allowing nurses to quickly identify and find what supplies they need for patients, Lieberman said.
“From the safety aspect it saves time,” he said. “The most-viewed items are at eye level to reduce bending and pulled back muscles, and mainly also to make sure that the right equipment is used for the patient.”
After Lieberman implemented Project Lean, IMC staff and nurses that floated there from other floors found that it reduced their time looking for supplies, which can be crucial in emergencies.
“We’ve seen a  lot of great things happen because of it,” Lieberman said. “Nurses are starting to scan items more often in the stock room. Scanning went up to 88 percent hospital wide since we started. It was a huge increase.”
Accurate scanning is important for managing Project Lean so supplies are replenished as they are used.
As an added bonus to staff and patient safety, Kemper said
Project Lean saves money.
“If you think about it, if a nurse spends about 15 minutes just looking for items and then multiply that by how many times a day that happens and if anything falls on the floor it has to be thrown away, and if it’s expired it had to be throw away,” she said.
Lieberman is also in the running against 1,800 other entries for HCA’s (Hospital Corporation of America) divisional and corporate awards, which recognize the most innovative ideas on how to improve safety. HCA is the parent company of HealthONE.
Lieberman started volunteering at Rose during high school, helping make beds and restocking the ER, and wanted to work there after graduation. He earned his EMT in 2003 and was hired at Rose in
2004. He spent five years in the ER as an EMT and then worked in the IMC before moving into the ICU five months ago.
After becoming an EMT, Lieberman weighed whether to pursue a nursing degree or go to medical school. A was drawn to nursing, and he earned his ADN in 2009 from the Denver School of Nursing.
“I chose nursing because I enjoy spending time with the patients and talking with them and building relationships,” he said. “That’s why I went into ICU and IMC to make a real difference in the lives of my patients.”
Lieberman has been surprised by how far his project has gone and is pleased that it has helped his fellow nurses hospitalwide. He also sees it as a way to give back to the hospital that helped him launch his career in health care.
“It’s giving back to Rose. That’s kinda why I’ve done it and taken it so far,” Lieberman said. “I really do value working at Rose and value all my time here and working as a volunteer. Rose is just a great place to work and I want to make it’s great for everyone who works here.”

 

Andrew Lieberman, an ICU nurse at Rose Medical Center, has earned the Innovator Award for streamlining supply and equipment storage, which has improved safety and saved the hospital money.
Andrew Lieberman, an ICU nurse at Rose Medical Center, has earned the Innovator Award for streamlining supply and equipment storage, which has improved safety and saved the hospital money.
The IMC storage room before and after RN Andrew Lieberman color-coded and reorganized nursing equipment and supplies as part of Project Lean.
The IMC storage room before and after RN Andrew Lieberman color-coded and reorganized nursing equipment and supplies as part of Project Lean.
The IMC storage room before and after RN Andrew Lieberman color-coded and reorganized nursing equipment and supplies as part of Project Lean.
The IMC storage room before and after RN Andrew Lieberman color-coded and reorganized nursing equipment and supplies as part of Project Lean.
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